Paris Twins Double Up on Cats

NORMAN, Okla.-- Sophomore All-American Courtney Paris said she had a bad game in Oklahoma's 78-58 victory over Kansas State in the Sooners' Big 12 home opener Wednesday night.

Paris recorded her 40th consecutive double-double (44th career) with a measly 18 points and 19 rebounds. Of course those kinds of numbers are going to pale in comparison to her 43 points and 25 boards against New Mexico five days earlier.

"I think I just physically and mentally started off really slow," said Paris, who hit just two of her first ten shots against the Wildcats (12-2, 0-1).

The No.8/7 Sooners (11-1, 1-0) completely dominated the interior game, outscoring K-State 42-12 in the paint and outrebounding the Cats 57-36.

Ashley Paris, who is Courtney's twin sister, also proved to be very difficult to stop posting 12 points and 17 boards.

The Paris twins accounted for 63-percent of OU's total rebounds.

"That's a lot of boards to come out of one household," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said.

"Each of them is a handful to guard. You can't guard Ashley with one. You can't guard Courtney with one."

OU senior guards Chelsi Welch and Erin Higgins forced K-State to defend the perimeter and added 12 and nine points respectively.

And while the Wildcats didn't get much production inside against the overpowering Sooners, their long-distance shooting kept the game fairly close.

In the first half, Kansas State freshman forward Ashley Sweat hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to three with 8:23 remaining. Oklahoma answered with a 12-0 run and led 42-26 at the half.

The Sooners went on what Coale called a "chaotic recess" for the first six minutes of the second half. A 3-pointer from junior guard Kimberly Dietz cut the deficit to ten with 15:36 on the clock.

That's as close as it would get for the Cats, who shot 50-percent from 3-point range, but were held to a season-low 28.6-percent from the field.

Marlies Gipson scored a team-high 14 points and grabbed seven boards. Sweat added 11 points.

Dietz, who was named Florida International Sun & Fun Classic tournament MVP after scoring 23 and 21 points last week in Miami, was held to just nine points shooting 3-for-7 from beyond the arc against the Sooners.

"I really think probably the most overlooked thing tonight will be how we guarded Kimberly Dietz," Coale said.

"She is tough to guard and she never really became a factor in the game."

Claire Coggins' shooting inconsistencies continued as well. She was named to the FIU All-Tournament team after scoring 17 and 11 points. But in Norman the senior went 2-for-16 from the field, hitting two 3-pointers.

"It's frustrating for us offensively," Patterson said.

"We've just got to stick with it. We've got to identify when our shot isn't going, maybe distribute the ball longer to allow a little better rhythm overall when an offensive player is struggling on the perimeter."

On the injury front, Shalee Lehning didn't warm-up with the Cats, but she started and played 33 minutes clearing a team-high eight rebounds. Patterson said the sophomore point guard irritated an injury to her right ankle in practice on Tuesday.

Freshman guard Kari Kincaid made her collegiate debut last week after missing most of the Wildcats' non-conference games with a foot injury. The Andover, Kan., native played seven minutes against OU and scored a 3-pointer and a free-throw.

Whether the Sooners can make history again by running the table in the Big 12 and/or by repeating as conference champions remains to be seen, but good luck to the Bears, Horns or Aggies if both Courtney and Ashley Paris have a "good game."

"I think the league this year is as good and strong as I've seen it in a long time," Patterson said.

"I think it would be an overstatement to predict that anybody could go through this league undefeated and I think the fact that Oklahoma did last year was absolutely phenomenal."


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