Little, Ortiz Earn Big 12 Individual Honors
NORMAN – The Oklahoma women’s basketball team received two Big 12 individual honors after finishing second in the Big 12 Conference as redshirt sophomore Peyton Little was named the Newcomer of the Year and freshman Gabbi Ortiz was tabbed the Freshman of the Year Wednesday.
In addition, the Sooners had a total of five players garner All-Big 12 awards. Little was named to the All-Big 12 First Team, sophomore Gioya Carter and redshirt junior Kaylon Williams each were tabbed to the All-Big 12 Second Team and senior Sharane Campbell-Olds earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention accolades and made the Big 12 All-Defensive Team. Ortiz also made the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.
The official All-Big 12 awards are selected by the league’s head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.
Little has started 27 of 29 games in her first year of play for the Sooners after transferring from Texas A&M. She leads her team and is eighth in the Big 12 in scoring with 13.2 points and pulls down 3.4 rebounds a contest. In conference games, the sophomore guard improved her scoring average to 15.1 points to rank sixth. She led the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.860) and was second in three-pointers made per game (2.2) through conference play.
The guard from Abilene, Texas is the third Sooner in school history to grab Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors. She joins the exclusive list with Portia Durrett and Yolanda Anderson who earned the award in 2013 and 2009, respectively.
Ortiz, also named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team, has started every game at point guard for Oklahoma as a true freshman and helped the team to a second-place finish in the Big 12. She contributes 7.9 points and 3.6 rebounds a game while ranking eighth in Big 12 assists (3.6 apg), ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and 10th in 3-pointers made per game (1.4). In league contests, the rookie averaged 3.4 assists and had a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. She picked up two Big 12 Freshman of the Week honors.
Ortiz is the sixth OU player to be named Freshman of the Year and the first since 2009 when Whitney Hand was tabbed. Others Sooners named Freshman of the Year are Danielle Robinson (2008), Courtney Paris (2006), Chelsi Welch (2003) and LaNeishea Caufield (1999).
Carter, a guard from Midwest City, Okla., averages 9.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. In league contests, the sophomore improved her scoring average to 12.0 points per game to rank 12th in the Big 12. After hitting double figures just twice in non-conference action, Carter produced 10 double digit outings in league play, including three with 20 or more points.
Williams, a forward also from Midwest City, Okla., is averaging career highs of 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game while shooting 60.9 perfect from the field. She has registered five double-doubles and broke into double figure points in 12 of 18 Big 12 contests.
Campbell-Olds earned her second consecutive Big 12 honorable mention accolade. Campbell-Olds finished the regular season as OU’s fourth-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, averaging 9.7 points and 5.4 rebounds.
Over her career, Campbell-Olds has now earned the Sixth Man Award (2012), All-Big 12 Freshman Team honors (2012), two honorable mention accolades (2014, 2015) and Big 12 All-Defensive Team (2015) honors.
Oklahoma finished alone in second plays in the Big 12 at 13-5 and enters this week’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship with a 19-10 overall record.
The Sooners will play a Big 12 quarterfinals game against No. 7 seed West Virginia or No. 10 seed Texas Tech on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. If OU wins it will play Sunday at 4 p.m. CT in the semifinals. Monday’s championship game will start at 8 p.m.