March 24, 2009
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Even though Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris failed to get a double-double, she still did more than enough to help lead the Sooners get to the round of 16.
Danielle Robinson scored 17 points and had seven assists, Whitney Hand added 15 and the top-seeded Sooners beat Georgia Tech 69-50 Tuesday night to advance to regional semifinals.
Courtney Paris finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and six blocks – missing out on a double-double for just the seventh time in 134 career games – but she had three quick blocks early in the second half to key a 27-11 run by Oklahoma (30-4) that put the game out of reach.
Deja Foster had 15 to lead Georgia Tech (22-10), which shot just 5-of-29 in the second half.
Oklahoma will now face fourth-seeded Pittsburgh in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Georgia Tech finished the first half on a 21-11 run to tie the game at 29 by halftime. Robinson opened the second half with a impressive steal and layup, but was whistled for a technical foul after celebrating the play.
It didn’t hurt the Sooners one bit.
Hand buried a 3, Ashley Paris hit an inside bucket – her first after seven misses – and Robinson went baseline for a backhanded layup to help put Oklahoma ahead 42-32.
Robinson pushed that lead to 50-36 on a pair of free throws, and Carlee Roethlisberger hit a pair of layups to make it 56-40 with 8:10 left.
The Yellow Jackets hopes truly went out the window with just over 4 minutes left. Courtney Paris missed an inside basket after the Sooners had run down the shot clock, but Ashley Paris was right there for a putback to give Oklahoma a 60-45 lead.
The Yellow Jackets looked more like a rambling wreck early on – thanks to Oklahoma’s defense. Georgia Tech missed 13 of its first 16 shots, and Robinson broke the press with a full-court dash and assist, followed by a 15-footer and a quick layup, to put the Sooners up 16-6 midway through the first half.
But Courtney Paris sat for nearly 6 minutes late in the opening half with a pair of fouls, giving Georgia Tech more open space to work with. The Yellow Jackets slowly chipped away at the lead until the game was tied at 29-all.
The first 20 minutes weren’t kind to the Paris twins. Ashley was 0-of-6 from the field, though she did grab seven rebounds. She finished with eight points and 16 rebounds.
Georgia Tech was none too pleased about getting a No. 9 seed and being shipped off to play Iowa in the first round. The Yellow Jackets were impressive against the Hawkeyes, pounding them 76-62 on their home floor while outscoring Iowa 46-12 in the paint, but they couldn’t establish that inside dominance against the Sooners.
Oklahoma could not have asked for a better road to the Final Four. The Sooners will face the Panthers just a short drive away from their campus, with either sixth-seeded Purdue or seventh-seeded Rutgers looming in the regional finals.