Not only did the Sooners miss out on a few days of Oklahoma's newfound cold weather, but they picked up their first two wins of the season as well.
Oklahoma capped its successful appearance in the Caribbean Challenge Friday afternoon with an 88-73 win over Mississippi State. That came one day after the 10th-ranked Sooners knocked off No. 14 Arizona State 69-57.
"It's been good for the team to pick up the two wins," said Ashley Paris, who scored a career-high 24 points, breaking the total of 21 she set the day before. She also added eight rebounds.
All-American Courtney Paris has earned all the accolades, but it was Ashley's time to shine at the Challenge. Courtney Paris scored 16 points and added eight rebounds. A nice day by most standards, but it ended her consecutive double-double streak at 64 games.
"They a have a bunch of athletic people and they made a tough match," Courtney Paris said. "It was a slow game for me. It's not too often in college basketball to play back-to-back games, so I did not do great, but we got the win. That's all that matters."
Jenna Plumley and Nyeshia Stevenson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to spur a 10-0 Sooner run in the second half, pushing their lead to 67-48. Mississippi State drew to 78-68 with 4:40 remaining, but Ashley Paris scored eight of the last 10 points of the game to seal it – and to put an exclamation point on her week.
"On a personal level, I'm happy with myself because I'm starting to accomplish goals to help my team, and Courtney," Ashley said.
Stevenson also scored a career-high with her 17 points. She knocked down four 3-pointers.
The Sooners started the game on a 12-2 run and surged ahead 31-11 with 9:03 remaining in the first half. But the Lady Bulldogs did not allow a field goal for more than three minutes, closing to 40-33 with a 3-pointer by Danielle Rector.
"We started out great," OU head coach Sherri Coale said. "Punched them in the mouth to start off and looked like we did against Arizona State (Thursday). Then we got a little passive and they knocked down some shots, which we weren't really expecting. Kind of took us on our heels, but we responded."