Nov. 25, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The Paris sisters put on quite a show for their hometown fans, combining for 44 points and 21 rebounds.
Courtney Paris scored a season-high 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and twin sister Ashley added 16 points and seven boards, leading No. 22 Oklahoma to an 85-68 victory over Iowa on Friday night in the opener of the Odwalla Classic.
Erin Higgins made four 3-pointers on the way to 14 points and had four assists for the Sooners, who will play for the title Saturday night at the University of San Francisco against the winner of Friday’s late game between Rider and host USF.
The game marked a homecoming for the Paris twins. They opted to play for the Sooners instead of staying home to go to California. The freshman sisters – Courtney is 6-foot-4 with a headband, and Ashley is 6-3 with tiny braids – grew up in nearby Piedmont.
Courtney is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder and Ashley also starts. During one stretch early in the second half, it was all Paris. Just as they did during their stellar prep careers, they dominated the paint all game.
Courtney scored back-to-back baskets, then watched as Ashley made an easy hoop. Courtney then scored the next two baskets before passing to Ashley for another hoop, giving the sisters 12 straight points.
Ashley scored in double digits for the first time this year. When they sat down for good with 2:28 remaining – side by side, of course – the sisters smiled at each other, chatted and cheered on their teammates until the final buzzer sounded. Afterward, they gave the fans a wave before disappearing to the locker room.
The sisters also had two steals apiece, and Courtney blocked two shots.
After a slow start, the Sooners (4-1) used a 34-13 run to end the first half, turning a 16-9 deficit into a 43-29 lead at the break. Iowa’s inside players appeared to wear down trying to defend the sisters with a significant size disadvantage.
Crystal Smith, Iowa’s speedy senior guard, scored 15 points after coming in averaging 28.5 per game. Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale subbed often to keep up with the quicker Hawkeyes.
Megan Skouby scored all 11 of her points in the second half for Iowa (1-2), which was coming off a 95-91 double-overtime loss at Louisiana Tech on Tuesday night.
Oklahoma, which lost to eighth-ranked Connecticut in the preseason WNIT championship game Sunday for its only defeat, outrebounded Iowa 47-28.