Norman, Okla. — The Paris era is well underway at the University of Oklahoma.
Courtney Paris was dominant in her debut scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while twin sister Ashley Paris came off the bench to contribute eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks as the Sooners rolled Wisconsin-Milwaukee 89-57 in the first round of the WNIT Friday night in Norman.
"I think having Courtney inside and scoring baskets early, us pushing the ball into the post forced them to try to take away our inside game which opened up shots from the outside," said senior Leah Rush. "If they stay out on us, Courtney's in there one-on-one and she's going to score every time. It forces them to double-team her (Courtney) which gives us open shots outside."
"Oklahoma does a great job of spreading it out and getting her isolated on the block," said UW-Milwaukee head coach Sandy Botham. "She's got great hands. She runs the floor extremely well. She's power, but yet finesse. She can just do so many different things. I swear she's got eyes in the back of her head too.
Paris' 24-point effort set a new freshman debut scoring record at Oklahoma. Erin Higgins held the previous mark with an 18-point effort in her first game as a Sooner.
"I was more nervous than I thought I would be coming into it," said Courtne Paris. "I had a lot of adrenaline going into it. The crowd was great, the team was great, it was just perfect. It was just the way I wanted it to be."
Also scoring in double figures for the Sooners were Chelsi Welch and Laura Andrews with 11 points and Leah Rush with 10. Rush also had eight rebounds and a career-high five assists, while Welch added two steals.
Britney Brown and Kendra Moore combined to do a nice job at the point combining for 14 points, six rebounds, six assists and only two turnovers, as both played 19 minutes.
"I am really pleased with the way they (Kendra Moore and Britney Brown) are competing," said OU head coach Sherri Coale. "I think numbers speak for themselves, they are being really sure with the basketball. Britney had one turnover and Kendra had one turnover. If you're only going to turn it over twice from the point position, you are going to be in a position to win a lot of games."
The Sooner defense forced 22 turnovers tonight and held UW-Milwaukee to just 35 percent shooting. On the other end, Oklahoma shot 52.1 percent from the floor and hit 6-of-18 3-pointers. Andrews came off the bench and hit three 3-pointers in the first half.
The only negative for the Sooners was the fact they hit only 9-of-17 free throws.
"I thought we competed really hard," said Coale. "We did some really good things in spurts, but we had spurts where we looked a little lackadaisical, got a little sloppy here and there. I look down (at the statistics) and saw that we only had 12 turnovers, I guess the ones we had were just ugly.
"I thought we competed and executed against the zone. I give them credit because they went to the zone to try to slow us down and it did just that and it took our rhythm away that we had early. Yet, I thought we fought back and recreated cadence for ourselves, so I am really pleased with our effort."
Oklahoma now advances to the second round of the WNIT against SMU at 2 p.m. Sunday inside the Lloyd Noble Center. The Mustangs advanced with a 53-45 over Louisiana-Layfayette Friday night in Dallas.
OU-Wisconsin Milwaukee Box Score
Paris leads Sooners in win over UW-Milwaukee
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