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Buffs Battle But Fall Short At OU

Feb 9, 2008

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma's Courtney and Ashley Paris combined for 48 points and 20 rebounds to lead No. 10 Oklahoma to an 82-66 win over Colorado in Big 12 Conference action Saturday night at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Jackie McFarland and Brittany Spears each had 19 points to pace the Buffaloes (13-10, 2-8 Big 12) who have dropped five straight and eight of their last nine. Oklahoma improves to 17-4, 7-2 in league play.

Courtney Paris had a game-high 30 points and 14 rebounds for the 87th double-double of her career. Sister Ashley had 18 points and six rebounds. The twins maded 22-of-35 shots (.629) as Oklahoma outscored CU 50-22 in the paint. As a team, the Sooners shot 53 percent from the floor.

The Buffaloes kept the game close in the first half. After withstanding a 10-2 OU run to open the game, Colorado responded with a Spears bucket, a Bianca Smith 3-pointer and a Caley Dow putback to close the gap to three at 12-9. Oklahoma pushed its lead back to seven at 18-11 on one of Courtney Paris' 14 field goals, but CU went on a 10-4 run with 3-pointers from Spears and Courtney Dunn as the Sooners led just 22-21 with 8:03 remaining in the half.

Oklahoma built its lead back up to nine at 35-26 with just 2:25 remaining, but CU wouldn't quit. McFarland made back-to-back shots along with a free throw as the Sooners took a 37-31 lead at the break.

Oklahoma scored the first six points of the second half on two Courtney Paris layups and another by Ashley. The Buffaloes made one last good run as Smith hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to bring CU to within six at 45-39 with 16:56 remaining.

The Sooners scored seven straight, capped off by a Nyeshia Stevenson 3-pointer, to take a 52-39 advantage and never let the lead dip back below double-digits.

"I was really proud of our team," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said "They played with a lot of heart, a lot of energy, a lot of spunk and a lot of fight in them. It is always tough playing in the Big 12 on the road, but there was not one possession where I thought they quit, that I thought they had given in and thought they weren't going to win that game. They played up until the very end.

"I think Oklahoma is an exceptional team and they have a frontline that is tougher than any frontline in the country. With that said, we got better tonight and we have to take a lot of positives from that game. (Brittney) Spears came on the road and put up back-to-back 19-point performances. Jackie (McFarland) and Bianca Smith stepped up and we had two post players that came in and played limited minuets and really did a good job on the offensive end.  All the credit to Oklahoma but I can't leave here and say that I'm not proud of my girls."

Spears had five rebounds and two blocks to go along with her 19 points, equalling her scoring output from the Nebraska game on Feb. 6. Her 307 points on the season are the most by a CU freshman since Erin Scholz had 343 in 1993-94.

McFarland had seven rebounds and was 8-of-14 from the floor as she became the eighth player in team history to reach 600 field goals (601).

Smith finished with 15 points, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range as she moved into ninth place on CU's all-time list for 3-pointers with 86.

The Buffaloes received a scoring boost off the bench from forwards Caley Dow and Courtney Dunn. Dow had seven points and tied a season high with seven rebounds while Dunn had six points and five boards.

Stevenson finished with 16 points for the Sooners while Danielle Robinson had 11.

Colorado will take on the University of Kansas on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.