Norman — Courtney Paris scored 24 points, but none were bigger than her last two in Oklahoma's win over No. 23 UCLA Monday night in Norman.
Oklahoma led 62-43 with 11:26 left and appeared to have things under control. However, a 34-16 UCLA run cut the lead to 78-77 with 1:14 seconds left, but Paris' layup with 53 seconds to go stopped the comback attempt and the Sooners held on for an 83-78 win.
"Huge effort by UCLA's guards in the second half," said OU head coach Sherri Coale. "That was exactly what we were prepared for, what we'd seen pieces of on film. Fortunately, they weren't able to sustain it for the whole night, or we might have had trouble beating them."
"They're scoring and suddenly a 20-point lead turns into a nine and now you have a ball game. But I thought we made the plays we had to make down the stretch, we made the free throws, we handled the traps, we got the rebounds. Everything we needed to do, we did."
"My teammates rose to the occasion tonight," said Paris. "We just know that we're going to make a big play's. We practice situations where we have to get stops and go down and get a score. We're confident and we have poise like coach stresses."
The Sooners trailed 5-4 at the 16:48 mark of the first half, but then went on a 15-0 run over the next five minutes and 13 seconds to open up a 14-point lead.
The Bruins would cut the lead to 33-28 with 1:26 to go, but OU ended the half with an 8-0 run to take a 40-28 lead.
Leah Rush, Erin Higgins and Kendra Moore joined Paris in double figures with 19, 14 and 13 points respectively.
Back to Paris, the California native also recorded a career-high and Oklahoma freshman record 22 rebounds en route to her ninth double-double of the season. She also had a double-double at the half with 16 points and 10 rebounds, which is the sixth time she's accomplished the feat this year.
With the win the Sooners improved to 8-1 on the season and stretched their winning streak to five games.
Oklahoma will now hit the road for two consecutive games beginning with Missouri State this Saturday in Springfield, Mo. at 1:35 p.m.
OU-UCLA Box Score
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