Feb. 28, 2007
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Courtney Paris scored 28 points and Chelsi Welch added a career-best 24 as No. 12 Oklahoma claimed a share of the Big 12 title with an 88-61 victory over No. 16 Baylor on Wednesday night.
Paris added 18 rebounds to record her 55th straight double-double and she also tied her career-high with five assists as the Sooners (23-4, 13-3 Big 12) turned a matchup of the league's two most recent champions into a rout.
Oklahoma, which will share the conference title with Texas A&M, rushed out to an early lead and then put the game away just after halftime.
Bernice Mosby had 15 points to lead Baylor.
Paris' basket off an offensive rebound ended a run of nine straight points early in the second half and gave Oklahoma a 56-36 lead. Baylor (24-6, 11-5) started the second half 1-for-7 and committed five quick turnovers to dig itself into a hole.
Mosby, who had only one basket to that point, scored six points during an 8-2 response for Baylor while Paris took a brief rest. But Paris scored on the first possession after her return, and Welch pumped in nine points during a 12-0 run that put Oklahoma up 72-46.
Welch hit a 3-pointer, then outran Baylor's defense for a layup in transition before Paris converted a three-point play. Welch then topped it off with four free throws.
Paris narrowly missed becoming the first Oklahoma player to score at least 30 points in three straight games. Only she and Sooners career scoring leader Phylesha Whaley have ever had back-to-back 30-point games.
Paris had a shot to best Whaley, but her attempt for her first career 3-pointer caromed off the rim. She sat out the final 5:33 after Oklahoma went up by 31.
Amanda Thompson added 10 points and Paris' twin, Ashley, added 10 rebounds.
Oklahoma opened an early 16-7 lead with Paris established herself inside with two layups and a three-point play and then handed off to Thompson to set up her basket along the right baseline.
The Sooners then heated up from long range, with Erin Higgins and Welch each hitting two of the team's five 3-pointers as Oklahoma built a 34-17 advantage. After Higgins' second 3, Baylor held Oklahoma without a basket for more than 7 minutes but was only able to cut the gap to 45-34 by halftime despite going 6-for-8 on 3-pointers in the opening half.