Archive for Friday, March 10, 2006

Scorching start carries Sooners

March 10, 2006


— Oklahoma didn't need any late heroics this time.

One night after rallying in the final minute to beat ninth-seeded Iowa State, No. 8 Oklahoma opened with a 13-0 run and cruised to its 16th straight victory by beating Missouri, 75-54, in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.

Oklahoma (28-4) jumped on Missouri from the opening tip and led 46-17 at halftime.

"I think we'll be able to do a lot of special things if we're able to play like that," said Oklahoma center Courtney Paris, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds. "That's fun when everything is going well."

The Sooners, who were the first team to go undefeated in Big 12 play, won their 18th straight conference game and will play Baylor in the championship game Saturday night.

Oklahoma's Erin Higgins added 12 points, Chelsi Welch had 11, and Ashley Paris chipped in with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Sooners clipped the Cyclones, 78-74, on Wednesday, but needed no late drama as they shot 59 percent in the first half.

"That was probably the best first half we played all season," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said.

Missouri (21-9) was playing in its first Big 12 tourney semifinal game.

Tiffany Brooks scored 24 points for the Tigers. LaToya Bond, Missouri's top scorer at nearly 18 points a game, didn't score in the first 30 minutes and was held to six points on 1-of-5 shooting.

No. 10 Baylor 53,

No. 22 Texas A&M; 52

Dallas - Sophia Young scored 29 points, and Angela Tisdale hit four free throws in the final minute to help Baylor reach the Big 12 tournament championship.

Baylor (24-5) has won 13 straight against Texas A&M; and has two tournament victories by a combined six points.

Texas A&M; (23-8) trailed 53-50 after Tisdale hit two free throws with 17.2 seconds left.

A'Quonesia Franklin badly missed a three-pointer that could have tied it. Danielle Gant grabbed the miss near the rim and hit a layup at the buzzer for the final score.

Franklin had 14 points, and Gant added 10 for the Aggies, who were playing in their first Big 12 tournament semifinals.


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