March 24, 2009
2009 DIVISION I WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
(Carver-Hawkeye Arena) o (Iowa City, Iowa)
(March 24, 2009)
#1 OKLAHOMA 69, #9 GEORGIA TECH 50
OKLAHOMA POST-GAME NOTES
In the second round of the Oklahoma City regional, top-seed Oklahoma (30-4) defeated ninth-seeded Georgia Tech, 69-50, Tuesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. Oklahoma moves on to the Sweet 16 and will face fourth-seed Pittsburgh March 29 in Oklahoma City. Georgia Tech ends the season with a 23-10 record.
With the win, Oklahoma is now 18-12 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 7-3 mark in all-time second round games. It was the Sooners’ first-ever meeting with Georgia Tech.
The Sooners starting lineup consisted of Whitney Hand, Courtney Paris, Ashley Paris, Nyeshia Stevenson and Danielle Robinson. Hand, Robinson, C. Paris, and A. Paris have started all 30 games this season for Oklahoma. It was Stevenson’s sixth start of the season (second straight; also started in first round victory over Prairie View A&M).
Senior center Courtney Paris was saddled with foul trouble through most of the first half, held to just two points and three rebounds during the first 20 minutes of play. She ended the game with 9 points and 10 rebounds, one point shy of her 127th double-double. Though the foul trouble limited her offensive game, Paris controlled the paint on defense all night long, rejecting six Georgia Tech shots.
Paris is just four rebounds shy of 2,000 for her career. If she can surpass the 2,000 rebound barrier, Paris will become the first college basketball player – any gender, any membership, any division – to collect 2,500 points and 2,000 rebounds in a career. Through Tuesday night’s game, Paris has 2,686 career points and 1,996 career rebounds.
Freshman guard Whitney Hand scored Oklahoma’s first eight points of the contest. She had eight points total in Sunday’s opening round victory over Prairie View A&M. She finished the game with 15 points, her highest total since scoring 20 points against Tennessee Feb. 2.
Sophomore guard Danielle Robinson led the way with 17 points, up five points from her season average of 12.8. She went 5-5 from the field and 7-7 from the free-throw line. She also chipped in with three rebounds and seven assists.
Senior forward Ashley Paris grabbed 17 rebounds for Oklahoma, a season-high (previous high was 14 in season-opener vs. UC Riverside).
Sophomore forward Carlee Roethlisberger added eight points off the bench. In two games in Iowa City, Roethlisberger has scored 18 points, more than she scored in the last 12 games combined.
The game was tied 29-29 at halftime. Oklahoma shot 40% in the first half (9-22), compared to Georgia Tech’s 35% (12-34). The Sooner defense held Georgia Tech to just 1-8 (12%) from behind the arc during the first half.
Oklahoma came out firing in the second half, going on 21-7 run over the first 8:30. They also turned up the heat defensively, holding Georgia Tech to just 17% shooting in the second half.
Oklahoma outscored Georgia Tech in the paint (38-24), points off turnovers (16-9), fast break points (14-2) and bench points (12-5).
GEORGIA TECH NOTES
Georgia Tech ends its season with a 23-10 overall record. Tuesday was the first meeting between the two schools.
The Yellow Jackets are now 2-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 2-3 record under Head Coach MaChelle Joseph.
Georgia Tech finished the season 0-4 with the game tied at halftime.
Deja Foster was Georgia Tech’s leading scorer with 15 points. She was averaging 9.1 per game.
Jacqua Williams, who is the team’s active leading scorer with 12 points per game, scored just one point against Oklahoma on 0-9 shooting.
Oklahoma limited the Yellow Jackets to just 1-13 shooting behind the arc (7.7%). Georgia Tech was shooting 30.7% on the season from three-point range.
Georgia Tech also lost its shooting touch in the second half, converting only 5-29 shots (17.2%).
Georgia Tech fell in an early hole, allowing a 14-4 run in the first 8:10. During the stretch, the Yellow Jackets shot just 2-11 and missed their first six shots.
The Yellow Jackets fought back in the first half, using an 11-4 run from the 9:01-6:04 mark, making the deficit 22-19. Two Sasha Goodlett free throws with 32 seconds left gave Georgia Tech its first lead at 29-28.
Georgia Tech shared the ball well in the first half, recording 10 assists on 12 made baskets.
The Yellow Jackets hit the offensive glass early as well, turning eight offensive boards into seven second chance points, compared to Oklahoma’s three offensive rebounds to just one Sooner second chance point.
The second half started the same as the first for Georgia Tech, as the Yellow Jackets made just one of their first 12 shots, allowing Oklahoma to build a double-digit lead at 46-34.