Dec. 30, 2005
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Freshman Courtney Paris got her 10th double-double of the season with 24 points and 15 rebounds, and Chelsi Welch added a season-high 20 points as No. 20 Oklahoma beat No. 16 New Mexico 83-70 Friday night.
Paris, who leads the nation in double-doubles, had 20 points and 14 rebounds in the second half after getting in foul trouble early and playing just 5 minutes in opening period.
Oklahoma (10-3) didn't miss Paris, as Welch scored 18 points in the first half. Welch scored eight points in an 18-0 run that put the Sooners safely ahead at 30-8 with 9:28 left. Welch, who went 10-for-10 at the free throw line, also had 10 rebounds for a double-double by halftime.
New Mexico trailed by 20 or more points most of the second half before outscoring the Sooners 14-2 in the final 3:23.
Oklahoma, which beat New Mexico 74-63 in Albuquerque in the semifinal round of the preseason WNIT, had a 49-38 edge in rebounding.
New Mexico, which had its 16-game homecourt winning streak snapped by Oklahoma in the WNIT game, led only once, on Abbie Letz' turnaround jumper in the opening minute. The Sooners' 18-0 run started with back-to-back 3s by Erin Higgins and Welch. It ended with another 3 from Higgins, who hit four in the game.
Paris, who is averaging 22 points and 14.7 rebounds a game, took over in the second half. Her five straight points squelched a brief New Mexico rally which cut the Sooners' lead to 47-30 after a three-point lay by Dionne Marsh with 18:34 left in the game.
New Mexico, unable to get much scoring inside, put up 18 3-pointers and hit five. The Lobos were 0-for-8 on 3s in the first half.