ST. LOUIS -- For the last four years, Oklahoma has hitched its wagon to
But with Oklahoma's season hanging in the balance Sunday night, it wasn't Paris but
Early on, it didn't appear as if the Sooners would need to resort to a last-second shot; they were well on their way to an ugly blowout. They opened an 11-0 lead with their transition game and helped pushed the advantage to 16-2 with a pair of Whitney Hand three-pointers. The Cardinals, meanwhile, struggled all game to find a rhythm. They missed their first 13 shots and didn't score their first points until the 12:36 mark.
In the locker room, Louisville coach
But it took a pep talk from New York Jets safety
McCoughtry's game quickly came together after that. She sparked the Cardinals to a 6-0 run, first swishing a baseline jumper in front of her bench, then hitting a breakaway lay-up off a steal, then another tough jumper in traffic to give the Cardinals their first lead of the game, 37-35. And though she struggled with foul trouble, McCoughtry managed to match that intensity on the defensive end. She soared through the Sooners' imposing front line for rebounds and, midway through the half, slapped a
McCoughtry's feistiness, along with a pair of timely threes from
That set up Robinson's mad dash the other way. When the buzzer sound, McCoughtry said, "My heart came out of my chest."
But for Paris, it wasn't that sound but the prospect of having to pay back all that tuition that was more daunting. "I will make good on the guarantee," she said. "Not today, though. Obviously, I don't have the $64,000 [on me]."