WBB: OU beats Texas, will face Baylor next

Oklahoma (24-4) advances to Thursday night's 8:30 p.m. semifinal against No. 18 Baylor (25-6). Courtney Paris (pictured) tied a Big 12 record with her 61st career double-double (17 points, 18 rebounds). She also blocked five shots as OU set a school and Big 12 Tournament record with 15 total blocked shots. (AP Photo)

Oklahoma City — Texas' trip to Oklahoma City for the Big 12 Tournament was a short one as the second-seeded and 11th-ranked Sooners sent the Longhorns packing, and probably to the NIT, with a 67-58 quarterfinal win Wednesday night at the Cox Convention Center.

The win, which was Oklahoma's sixth straight, sets up a semifinal showdown Thursday night with third-seeded and 18th-ranked Baylor, who advanced with a 71-51 quarterfinal rout of 11th-seeded Kansas late Wednesday.

The Sooners jumped on the Longhorns early and never let up, despite the fact that Big 12 Player of the Year Courtney Paris didn't record a point until the 8:04 mark of the first half. OU's first five field goals were 3-pointers as they built an early 15-8 and led 33-26 at halftime.

Paris, who scored just five first half points, erupted in the second half scoring the first nine points in the Sooners' 11-2 run to begin the half.

"It was sort of an atypical beginning because typically we establish Courtney at the low block and we pound it and pound it in and pound it in, and then when they started surrounding her we kicked it out and get the threes," said OU head coach Sherri Coale, whose Sooners were 7-for-14 from 3-point range for the game.

"We had a hard time getting her the ball early. It wasn't that we weren't trying to. We had a hard time and credit goes to Texas for that. We just were pretty good from the three-point line tonight. That made a difference as well."

But once Paris got going she was hard to stop. The 6-foot-4 center scored 12 points in the second half on her way to extending her double-double streak to 56 games with 17 points and 18 rebounds.

"Normally we'll establish the inside and then we'll hit them outside, once they all come down," said Paris, who tied a Big 12 record with the 61st double-double of her career. "But Texas did a great job of playing the post, and they were there fronting and it was hard to get the ball inside. But Leah Rush and these other guys were knocking down three-pointers.

"For me it was just like, well, your teammate knocks down a three, that's really good. We established ourselves on the outside first and then Texas had to adjust, and then the second half I was open more."

Joining Paris in double figures was her sister Ashley Paris, who tied her career-high with 16 points and nine rebounds, Jenna Plumley with 13 and Leah Rush with 10. Plumley helped jumpstart the Sooners with two 3-pointers in OU's early 15-8 run to start the game.

Defensively, the Sooners were dominant holding the Longhorns to just 25 percent shooting (18-62) from the field while also setting a school and Big 12 Tournament record with 15 blocked shots.

"They're really good," said Texas head coach Jody Conradt. "Any team that has the inside/outside game the way they do, they're going to be successful. I thought we worked about as hard as we could work. We boarded with them. We forced turnovers, but they're hard to guard. We're going to congratulate Oklahoma because they're a very good team."

The Sooners (24-4) will now focus their attention on Baylor (25-6), who they have already beaten twice this season — 76-63 on Jan. 10 in Waco and 88-61 on Feb. 28 in Norman. Interestingly enough, the No. 2 seed is just 2-5 head-to-head against the No. 3 seed in Big 12 Tournament games.

Tip-off at the Cox Convention Center is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. They game will also be televised on Fox Sports Net.

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