OKLAHOMA CITY -- Sophomore posts Courtney Paris and Ashley Paris combined to score 30 points and grab 21 rebounds to lead the No. 11 ranked and second-seeded Oklahoma Sooners to a 67-58 victory over The University of Texas Wednesday in Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship quarterfinal play at the Cox Convention Center in front of 10,210. Courtney had her 56th consecutive double-double with game-bests of 17 points and 18 rebounds.
The loss drops UT out of the Big 12 tourney, as UT missed the chance to advance to the semifinals of the Championship for the sixth time in this the 11th year of Big 12 tourney action. Oklahoma (24-4) advances to Thursday's semifinal play against the winner of the No. 3 seed Baylor-No. 11 seed Kansas quarterfinal game. The other semifinal game will feature No. 1 seed Texas A&M and No. 5 seed Iowa State.
Texas is now 18-14 and now await a possible at-large berth to the NCAA Championship. The 64-team Division I field will be announced on Monday, March 7 at 7 p.m. (Central) on ESPN.
The Longhorns were led by three players in double-figure scoring, with senior Tiffany Jackson notching 16 points to go with a team-high nine rebounds, freshman point guard Carla Cortijo adding 14 points and junior guard Erneisha Bailey with 11.
Texas was hurt by cold shooting, as the Longhorns shot a season-low 25 percent, making 18 of 72 field goal attempts. The Longhorns did a solid job of controlling the ball, as UT committed just 10 turnovers in the game - the Longhorns third-lowest turnover total for the year; yet, poor shooting stalled the Longhorns chances. UT muscled with the Sooners on the boards, as OU held a slight advantage in rebounding, 47-44.
Oklahoma shot 46.3 percent for the game, making 25 of 54 shots.
Courtney Paris broke free from Texas' defense to score 12 of her 17 points in the second half. After getting only four shots in the opening half, Paris took five in the first 2½ minutes after halftime. She made three in that span, and later added a three-point play to make it 42-26 as Texas suffered through an extended shooting drought after halftime.
The Longhorns opened up the second half by missing their first 13 shots, and were 1-for-20 from the floor to start the half. UT's first basket came when freshman Earnesia Williams hit a jumper from the left wing with 12:39 to play to cut the OU lead to 46-33.
UT, however, then missed its next seven shots as OU built its lead up to 21 (54-33) with an 8-0 run, capped by an Ashley Paris layup, with 10:11 to go.
Texas would cut into the lead and get to within 13 (62-49) on a Cortijo three-pointer from the wing with 5:28 to go. Layups by the Paris twins and a free throw from Jenna Plumley pushed the lead up to 18 with 1:56 left. Texas scored the final nine points of the game for the nine-point margin at the end.
The Sooners led 33-26 at halftime on the strength of early outside shooting. OU's first 15 points of the game came on five 3-pointers, as the Sooners were six-for-seven in treys to start the game. Rush and Plumley had two treys apiece to start the game.
OU went six-for-10 from 3-point territory in the first half and shot 45 percent overall from the floor. Texas made just 30 percent of its first-half shots (9-for-30).
Plumley (13 points) and Leah Rush (10 points) rounded out OU's double-digit scorers.
Oklahoma set a school-record with 15 blocks. Those 15 blocks also were the most by a Texas opponent in the program's 33-year history. The former high for opponent blocks was 14, done twice by Old Dominion in 1980 and 1981.
Texas went 20-for-25 from the free throw line, while the Sooners were 10-for-17 from the foul line.
· Texas is denied a sixth trip to the Big 12 Championship semfinals with tonight's loss ... The Longhorns advanced to the Big 12 tourney semifinals in 1997, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005, and made it to the championship game twice - in 2000 (runnerup) and in 2003 (champions)
· Oklahoma was the 11th Top 25 opponent for the Longhorns this year ... UT is 3-8 against the Top 25
· This was the 32nd meeting between Texas and OU, with Texas leading the series, 20-12 ... The teams met three times this year, with Texas upsetting the No. 9/8 Sooners, 67-62 on Jan. 31 in Austin before No. 12/9 OU won in Norman, 78-58 on Feb. 12
· Texas senior Tiffany Jackson had two steals against OU, bringing her career total to 313 ... That ranks No. 4 in Texas career steals ... Jackson led the Big 12 in conference steals the last three years, and ranks No. 5 among all-time Big 12 players in steals, as she is two steals shy of the No. 4 spot, held by former Baylor post Sophia Young who had 315 thefts from 2003-06
· Redshirt freshman point guard Carla Cortijo has an impressive assist-to-turnover ratio in UT's last five games ... The 5-7 point guard dished out 38 assists with just 13 steals, for a 3:1 ratio