Oklahoma sophomore Courtney Paris didn’t play against the Tigers until almost three minutes into the game. It was the first time she hasn’t started a game in her college career.
But Paris still scored 33 points on Sunday in No. 13 Oklahoma’s 72-57 victory against the Missouri women’s basketball team. Oklahoma’s win is its fourth in a row.
Missouri (17-11, 5-10 Big 12) trailed 32-25 at the end of the first half. Oklahoma (22-4, 12-3 Big 12) led by as much as 11 points during the half, but 3-pointers from Marchele Campbell, Alyssa Hollins and Carlynn Savant helped keep the Tigers close.
With more than four minutes left in the first half, two free throws by Savant brought Missouri within 23-20, the closest the Tigers would get for the rest of the game.
“I think Oklahoma is a very tough team,” Missouri coach Cindy Stein said. “I don’t know if Oklahoma was hitting on all cylinders today, but when you are top-10 team you can do things like that. We were not on our A game, and to beat Oklahoma
at their place, you have to be on your A game. I am a little disappointed, and we made some runs, but it wasn’t enough.”
Savant’s two 3-pointers brought her career total to 141, breaking Tracy Lozier’s old Missouri record.
Hollins made one of her eight 3-point attempts, giving her 59 for the season. The shot brought her closer to reaching second place on the all-time single-season record list. Amanda Lassiter had 65 3-pointers in 2000-01 and Lozier had 60 in 2002-03.
Paris, who didn’t start because Oklahoma started five of its six seniors on Senior Day, scored 22 points in the second half, and had 21 rebounds, seven of those on offense.
“We tried to randomly trap her,” Stein said. “It is tough because they have really good spacing, and it is really hard to do that. We had to worry about everyone else, too. Sometimes they would hit a big three or they would miss a shot and get the offensive board. From watching Oklahoma’s film, they live off of offensive boards. It is a tough situation.”
On Friday, Paris was named a finalist for the annual James Naismith Award, which is given to the national player of the year in women’s basketball.
Senior EeTisha Riddle led the Tigers with just 12 points, well under her 17.8-point average in conference games. Prior to Sunday, Riddle’s average was lower only than Paris’ 23-4-point average.
“She is a great player,” Riddle said. “She made baskets and I didn’t.”