Sooner women on fast track to St. Louis

by Jenni Carlson Modified: March 30, 2009 at 5:28 pm •  Published: March 30, 2009
Courtney Paris looked over at her backcourt buddies as the final moments of the biggest victory of her career ticked away.

"I’ve never been to an Elite Eight before,” the Oklahoma star proclaimed.

Whitney Hand and Danielle Robinson looked at her skeptically.

"You haven’t?” they asked.

She hadn’t — until now.

OU defeated Pittsburgh 70-59 on Sunday night to the delight of thousands of crimson-clad fans inside the Ford Center. The Sooners dominated the Panthers, jumping out early, then leading big throughout the second half.

The Sooners are headed to the Elite Eight.

And more.

Mark it down — this team is going to the Final Four.

These Sooners were always going to be tough to beat in Oklahoma City, but now, they are playing some darn good ball to boot. That’s a potent combination. That’s a Final Four formula.

They showed it Sunday. The Sooners didn’t play a flawless game, starting with Paris. She admitted that she didn’t shoot it very well, and her 4-of-14 performance on the stat sheet backed that up.

The double-double queen even flirted with a single-single, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds.

But because of an electric performance by Hand and a steady night from Robinson and a return to form by Ashley Paris, the Sooners still ran away from the Panthers.

"For us to come out and win like that,” Sooner guard Nyeshia Stevenson said, "if I was another team that had to come out and play us, I would be a little scared.”

Purdue is the unfortunate victim standing in the way of this OU freight train bound for St.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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