January 20, 2008

Beware the Bears

NORMAN, Okla. - The most disappointing thing for Oklahoma has to be that when it really, really, really mattered, the Sooners continued to come up empty. And for Baylor, after six straight losses to their crimson and cream rivals? The best part, winning aside, has to be that there was nothing flukey about it. Baylor was the better team. On this day, at least. And it coldn't have been more clear.

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Stretch run

NORMAN, Okla - Not so fast, Baylor.

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Here comes Baylor

NORMAN, Okla. - If there were 18 minutes remaining, we'd say they're trading baskets. Only there's about 8 minutes to play and they're not.

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Here come the Sooners?

NORMAN, Okla. - For a moment, it looked like Baylor might be pulling away, taking a five-point lead, 54-49, with about 13 minutes to play. However ...

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A showcase

NORMAN, Okla. - Here's what's becoming more and more clear.

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Nothing decided

NORMAN, Okla. - Well, it's halftime. And nobody has any idea who's going to win today's game.

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Where's the spirit?

NORMAN, Okla. - As far as I can tell there are three people at Lloyd Noble Center with a rooting interest for Oklahoma not wearing their provided T-shirt for today's whiteout.

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Paris is burning

NORMAN, Okla. - With 7:48 to play in the first half, Courtney Paris has 12 points and six rebounds.

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Battle of the big girls?

NORMAN, Okla. - Coming out of the second media timeout, there are two big forces to today's game.

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Welcome to Norman

NORMAN, Okla. - Greetings from Lloyd Noble Center, where No. 6 Baylor and No. 11 Oklahoma meet in a huge Big 12 contest, perhaps a little more huge to the Sooners than the Bears, if only because OU must hold serve on its own court.

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November 16, 2007

Nothing But Positive

TAMPA - Only one team can win, but tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum, home of the 2008 Final Four, everybody left winners.

Sure, No. 1 Tennessee ultimately pulled out this nailbiter by the final score of 70-67, but Oklahoma proved while their talent came up short tonight, their heart never faltered.

"I'm incredibly proud of our team," coach Sherri Coale said after the game. "I thought we played very hard. It could have easily gotten away from us and they didn't let it happen. I thought our young guys just handled the grand stage and the pressure and everything that goes with it beautifully and I am really thankful that we had this opportunity to face this team here in November."

The other big winner tonight? The game of women's basketball.

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November 15, 2007

Parker Over Paris

TAMPA - Candace Parker asserted her dominance over Courtney Paris in a two possession span.

First, Parker went up for an offensive rebound with Paris and simply grabbed the ball out of Paris' grasps like a grown up taking candy from a baby. Parker then did a nifty dribble and went back up for the score.

Then, at the other end, when Paris tried to answer with a lay in of her own, Parker came flying out of nowhere to emphatically block the shot. OK, so the refs called a foul, but everyone in the arena, including Oklahoma got the point.

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Bicep Curls

TAMPA - Shannon Bobbit just drove the lane, made a sick move and layed it in over two people - keep in mind she's 5-foot-3 - and was fouled.

For her effort, Candace Parker ran over to the miniscule point guard and lifted her with two hands underneath her armpits. Basically, Parker did a bicep curl with Bobbitt as her free weight.

Meanwhile, OU keeps punching back, with Jenna Plumley, OU's version of a little person, nailing a big-time 3-pointer to tie up the score.

And back on the other side of the court, Bobbitt knocked down another three. Where would Tennessee be without Bobbitt this half? Try down as many as 12 points, as the tiny PG has three big threes, a two and a foul shot already and has amassed 17 points on the night at Tennessee leads, 48-47, with 13:28 to play.

Trading Up

TAMPA - Out of the gates at halftime, two different teams seem to be playing in this game.

Tennessee's Shannon Bobbitt has already nailed two threes and Ashley Paris, Danielle Robinson and Amanda Thompson are helping OU stay competitive with Courtney Paris in foul trouble.

In fact, staying competitive isn't all the Sooners are doing, they are winning, 42-40.

Both teams came out of the break firing on more cylinders then when they left, with Oklahoma seemingly scoring on every possession.

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Crazy Finish

TAMPA - With time running out on the first half, Candace Parker stole a pass, ran to the corner and put up a shot with the buzzer sounding.

The shot never made it to the rim, but you could hear the whistle for the foul in between the buzzer. Parker was fouled by Amanda Thompson shooting a three pointer, and for her effort, received three free throw attempts, hitting two, to give the Lady Vols a 32-29 halftime lead.

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Turning Tide

TAMPA - Tennessee has the lead. Courtney Paris has three fouls. Things are starting to go sour for Oklahoma, who once led 14-8.

Paris went out of the game with her third at the five minute mark and Candace Parker is just being Candace Parker for the Vols.

Tennessee needs to find some scoring elsewhere, Parker has 12 of their 24, but it just looks like no matter what the Sooners do, Tennessee is just a step better.

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Three Freshman For OU

TAMPA - The Oklahoma Sooners are leading the Tennessee Lady Vols, the No. 1 in the land, 18-14, with under eight minutes to play in the first half.

At one point, three freshman were in the game at the same time for OU. Danielle Robinson, Carlee Roethlisberger and Jenny Vining made up three-fifths of a lineup that also included junior Ashley Paris and sophomore Abi Olajwon against the best team in the country.

Needless to say, UT came back on OU during this time, especially with Courtney Paris on the bench with two fouls, but the Sooners still do keep the lead with Vining banking home a three pointer from the top of the key to expand the lead to its current state.

CP3 X2

TAMPA - Your CP3 update.

With 11:25 to play in the first half and the score 14-8 Oklahoma, Courtney Paris has half of the Sooners points. Candace Parker has all eight for Tennessee.

I think it is safe to say that the court belongs to the two players with the same initials and number, the rest of the players are just trying to tread water in their wake.

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Buckled Down

TAMPA - Tennessee senior guard Alexis Hornbuckle went out of the game at the 18:14 mark with two fouls.

The early score is Oklahoma 7, Tennessee 4. Or should I say it's Courtney Paris 7, Tennessee 4. The Vols can't stop Paris inside. She's getting all the missed shots for rebounds and put backs.

The Lady Vols will need to handle the ball better than they have so far, with three turnovers right out of the gate. Candace Parker, herself, has made some questionable decisions and has taken a few inadvisable shots early.

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Two Of The Four?

TAMPA - As game two of the ESPNU Invitational gets set to begin between the No. 1 Tennessee Lady Vols and the No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners, one must wonder if Tampa will see these two teams again.

With the Final Four being played at the St. Pete Times Forum here in Tampa in April, the Lady Vols and Sooners will look to get the feel of the arena. Because at least the Lady Vols plan on being here again, looking for their eighth national title.

This game's storyline is apparent. Candace Parker vs. Courtney Paris. CP3's go head to head.

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November 11, 2007

Sooners can't catch Terrapins

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - For the first few minutes of Maryland's showdown with Oklahoma, it looked like the women's basketball fans here were in for a great game.

But the only ones feeling good when it was over were the Terrapins. No. 4 Maryland went on a 30-9 run over the final four minutes of first half and never looked back on the way to a 76-66 win against the sixth-ranked Sooners.

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Not much doing here

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Things have taken a turn for the mundane here, as Maryland has maintained it's 20-point lead without too much exciting action to speak of. The Terps are slowing things down a bit, just trying to milk some clock, it would appear.

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Good news, bad news for OU

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- At the 16:25 mark of the second half, Courtney Paris finally snagged her seventh rebound of the game to become OU's all-time leader in career boards.

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Terps up big at halftime

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Even though this game features some higher-ranked teams than the afternoon's first contest here at the Smith Center, it's not quite as competitive at halftime.

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Now back to your originally scheduled Paris sister

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Sure, school records are impressive. Athletes spend their four years contributing -- a little at first, then more and more -- until their enshrined in the record books. Of course, that is just what usually happens. If you're Courtney Paris, it's a bit different.

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The other Paris

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- While all the hype is about Courtney Paris for Oklahoma, she's still got a goose egg in the box score so far in this game. Her twin sister, Ashley, however, has seven of the Sooners' first 10 points. This one is tight nearly eight minutes in, with the Sooners leading 13-12.

Frontline showdown in second game

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Not only does the second game of the State Farm Tip-Off Classic feature two of the top six teams in the nation, it also has one great individual matchup: Maryland's Crystal Langhorne against Oklahoma's Courtney Paris.

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