Buckeyes too much for Sooners, 74-67

Courtney Paris' double-double not enough to push No. 3 Oklahoma past No. 8 Ohio State.

Norman — No. 8 Ohio State (10-1) proved to be too much to handle for third-ranked Oklahoma (9-1) as they ended the Sooners' 23-game regular season winning streak with a 74-67 win Wednesday night in Norman.

The Buckeyes, who were the last team to beat the Sooners in regular season action last January, also ended OU's 11-game home winning streak.

Oklahoma jumped out to a quick 9-5 lead, but trailed 40-36 at halftime. However, the Sooners opened the second half with an 8-0 run to lead 46-40 with 16:25 to go.

But the Buckeyes battled back and regained the lead for good at 61-60 with 7:15 left. From that point on, the Sooners made just two field goals while Ohio State iced the game hitting five free throws in the final minute.

Ohio State used it's superior athletic ability to put pressure on the Sooners all over the floor forcing 16 turnovers, while Oklahoma couldn't stop the Buckeyes' dribble penetration on the other end.

OU finished with 14 assists against 16 turnovers. They also lost the rebounding battle 39-37. Both teams shot 45 percent from the field, but Ohio State made 17-of-24 free throws compared to the Sooners 6-of-11 as they were much more agressive driving to the hoop.

The match-up between All-American centers Courtney Paris and Jessica Davenport proved to be as good as advertised. Paris finished with a game-high 22 points and 13 rebounds, to 14 points and 10 rebounds for Davenport. However, Davenport proved to be much more efficient scoring her 14 points on just seven shots, while Paris scored her 22 on 24 shots.

Paris also fouled out with 14 seconds left in the game on a controversial moving screen call that nullified a 3-point bucket by Erin Higgins that would have pulled the Sooners within two. OU certainly didn't feel that Paris didn't anything illegial on the screen. OU was called for moving screens three times in the game each time costing them a bucket, twice 3-point baskets that were called off.

Sophomore Ashley Paris played a good game off the bench with 11 points and four rebounds. Ashley showed some good moves around the basket and she was able to get her shot off againts the taller Buckeyes.

Courtney had three of her first four shots blocked by the 6-foot-5 Davenport early in the game, and after the game she admitted being bothered at times by the length of Davenport. Davenport finished with four blocks.

Freshman Amanda Thompson provided a spark off the bench with five points and four rebounds and her athletic ability easily matched-up with the Buckeyes. Thompson gives the Sooners something they didn't have a year ago in that she can take a defender off the dribble and drive to the hoop, and she was able to do that against the Buckeyes.

Freshman point guard Jenna Plumley also gave the Sooners a spark in her three minutes in the first half coming up with one steal and getting her hands on two or three other balls as well.

Back to Paris, she also reached the 1000-point scoring mark for her career in the second half. It was the fastest (46 games) a player reached the mark in Oklahoma and Big 12 history, as well as the 13th-fastest in NCAA history.

Senior guard Chesli Welch, who added 14, also reached the 1000-point plateau for her career.

Wednesday's announced attendance of 11,441 was the fifth-largest in the program's history.

The Sooners will play New Mexico on Dec. 30 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

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