Nov. 16, 2005
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Freshman Courtney Paris scored 26 points and had 18 rebounds for her third straight double-double of the season and No. 25 Oklahoma pulled away in the second half for a 74-63 win over New Mexico in the semifinals of the Preseason WNIT on Wednesday night.
The Sooners (3-0) will play the winner of Thursday's semifinal between No. 9 Connecticut and Boston College for the preseason tournament title.
Paris, who came into the game averaging 21.5 points and 15 rebounds, hit 11 of 15 shots, most of them lay-ups and repeatedly grabbed rebounds off New Mexico missed shots.
New Mexico (2-1) got 23 points from Dionne Marsh, who missed her first five shots before leading a late first-half rally that got the Lobos within 35-34 at the break.
However, New Mexico, which had its 16-game home-court winning streak snapped, never led.
Oklahoma, with Leah Rush scoring six points went on an 11-3 run to start the second half and the Lobos got no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Paris scored six points and her twin sister Ashley added a free throw to put the Sooners up 56-42 with just over 13 minutes left.
Rush scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half and Erin Higgins finished with 12 points on 4 3-pointers.
Oklahoma scored the game's first 10 points. Paris hit a layup 11 seconds into the game, Higgins followed with back-to-back 3s and Rush got her only points of the first half with a layup.
A turnaround 12-foot jumper and two free throws by Marsh got New Mexico within 33-30. Oklahoma's Krista Sanchez hit a layup before Marsh finished the half with a pair of baskets in the lane.
Montgomery scored 11 points and Letz 9. The two combined to hit six of New Mexico's seven 3s in the game.