Balanced Sooners Beat SMU, 87-75
NORMAN (AP) – Gabbi Ortiz scored 20 points, freshman Ana Llanusa hit two key 3-pointers down the stretch and No. 21 Oklahoma held on to defeat SMU 87-75 on Friday night.
Maddie Manning had a critical 3-point play and 18 points, Vionise Pierre-Louis added 14 points and Llanusa had 12 points on 4-of-6 3-point shooting for the Sooners.
“I give SMU credit, they’re very scrappy, they don’t go away. They play with great intention," OU head coach Sherri Coale said after the win. "I felt like we did a lot of really good things in the first half but I don’t know if we guarded well the entire game honestly. We flattened out during the second half and never really recovered any energy from that.
"(Our) rhythm was really good, we probably could’ve gone to Gabbi (Ortiz) more. When she hits two or three, we need to recognize that and be a little smarter and make sure everything runs through her when she’s shooting like that."
Oklahoma (2-1) had a 16-point lead at the half but SMU (1-2) closed within three points with a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter before the Sooners, who dropped a 111-108 heartbreaker to DePaul on Monday, recovered.
The Mustangs made it a four-point game on two free throws by Dai'ja Thomas with 3:45 to play. Llanusa quickly responded with a 3-pointer on a Manning assist before Manning turned a turnover into a 3-point play for a 76-66 lead at the 3:05 mark. Llanusa hit her final 3 with just under a minute to play to restore the 10-point lead.
McKenzie Adams had 14 of her 25 points in the second half for the Mustangs. Kiara Perry and Ariana Whitfield had 13 points each and Johnasia Cash 10, all in the second half.
Oklahoma tied the school record with 19 3-point attempt in the first half, making nine, one shy of the record for a half. That helped build a 45-29 lead.
The Sooners hit the road for a three-game road swing starting Tuesday at Colorado State.