No. 16 New Mexico Falters Against No. 20 Oklahoma, 83-70
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  12/30/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Dec. 30, 2005

Box Score |  Quotes |  Notes

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 (9-3) shot just 35 percent. The Lobos, with reserves Julie Briody and Timi E-Nunu out with injuries, couldn't match up with the Sooners' quickness and the inside muscle of Paris.

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.

Jana Francis and Brandi Kimble each scored 15 points for New Mexico. Francis hit 3 3-pointers in the second half.

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.