OU Hosts Florida Sunday in Big 12/SEC Challenge
SUNDAY'S GAME BASICS
The Sooners wrap up their three-game road swing at Little Rock on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT inside Jack Stephens Center. OU has won the last two meetings against the Trojans and lead the all-time series, 6-1.
ON THE AIR
Sunday's game will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma with Chad McKee, Dan Hughes and Megan McDonald announcing. The contest will also air on the Sooner Radio Network with Brian Brinkley and McKenna Treece calling the action.
Tickets are available for $10 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office (800-456-4668) and online here. Lloyd Noble Center's north and east ticket windows will open at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. OU students will be admitted free with a valid school I.D.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Oklahoma returns home Sunday to face Florida for the 2017 Big 12/SEC Challenge inside Lloyd Noble Center. Sunday's matchup marks the first meeting between OU and Florida in women's basketball. OU is looking for its first win in the Big 12/SEC Challenge since the event started in 2015.
• In OU's two home games, the Sooners are averaging 91.5 points per game and shooting .455 from the field and .400 from 3-point range. Vionise Pierre-Louis is shooting .813 from the floor and averaging 19.0 point per contest at home this season, while Gabbi Ortiz has knocked down half of her attempts from deep (7-of-14, .500) at Lloyd Noble Center. Maddie Manning has also provided 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in OU's first two home games this year.
• Vionise Pierre-Louis leads OU in scoring and rebounding through six games to begin the 2017-18 season, averaging 18.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. The senior is sixth in the country in field goal percentage at .684 and is also 12th in blocked shots per game (3.0). Among Big 12 players, Pierre-Louis is second in field goal percentage, third in blocked shots per game and rebounding, and fifth in scoring.
• Gabbi Ortiz has provided the Sooners with a consistent 3-point threat through the first six games. Ortiz is averaging a team-best .417 3-point shooting percentage, which ranks 10th in the Big 12. The senior also ranks first in the league in free throw percentage (1.000) and minutes played per game (37.2).
• In OU's three wins, getting to the free throw line has been key. The Sooners are averaging 18.0 free throws made per game in each victory this season. Nationally, the Sooners ranked 13th in the nation in free throws made (114) and free throw attempts (158). The Sooners are second in the Big 12 with a .722 free throw percentage.
GAME SIX RECAP: LITTLE ROCK
• Oklahoma could not overcome a slow start offensively as the Sooners fell, 68-56, to Little Rock inside Jack Stephens Center. The Sooners fell down early as Little Rock shot .500 (16-of-32) from the floor in the first half, while the Sooners were limited to just 20 points in the first two quarters. In the second half, OU cut the the deficit down to 51-47 with less than seven minutes to play, but the Sooners were limited to just one field goal down the stretch and couid not edge closer.
• Gabbi Ortiz and Shaina Pellington led the Sooners with 15 points apiece. Ortiz knocked down three treys and scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half. Pellington was 7-of-13 from the field and had two assists in 28 minutes off the bench. Despite missing most of the first half due to foul trouble, Vionise Pierre-Louis recorded a season-high five blocks, while finishing with seven points and four rebounds in 20 minutes. The Trojans jumped out to a 16-2 advantage early in the first quarter as OU shot just .267 (4-of-17) from the field in the opening frame. OU closed the gap at the start of the third quarter as the Sooners were 4-of-5 from range in the frame. Ortiz sank all three of her triples in the second half and is now two 3-pointers shy of passing Carin Stites for eighth place all-time at OU in career 3-pointers made.
• OU finished the game with a .377 (20-of-53) shooting percentage, while posting a .286 (4-of-14) clip from beyond the arc. At the foul line, the Sooners were 12-of-18 (.667). Little Rock finished with a .424 (25-of-59) field goal percentage and finished 16-of-21 (.762) at the free throw line. Little Rock forced the Sooners into 20 turnovers and capitalized by scoring 17 points off of OU's miscues. OU won the rebounding battle, 38-33.
Shaina Pellington scored 15 points in Tuesday's game at Little Rock. The freshman is shooting .519 from the field this season.
• Florida enters Sunday's contest with a 4-3 record after defeating Jacksonville, 69-59, on Tuesday. The Gators are averaging 74.6 points per game and are shooting .449 from the field, .369 from beyond the arc and .632 at the free throw line. Florida is averaging 10.3 3-pointers per game, which ranks ninth in Division I.
• Redshirt junior guard Funda Nakkasoglu leads the Gators in scoring with 14.8 points per game and is shooting .400 from deep. Senior guard Dyandria Anderson and senior forward Paulina Hester are both averaging 11.7 points per contest.
• Florida is led by head coach Cameron Newbauer, who is in his first season with the Gators. Newbauer previously served as the head coach at Belmont, where he led the Bruins to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2016 and 2017. Newbauer is 83-53 overall in his five seasons as a head coach.
• The transition from moving to off the ball from point guard seems to be paying off for senior Gabbi Ortiz. Ortiz is averaging 14.2 points a game, while shooting .417 from beyond the arc. The Racine, Wis., native tied her career high with six made treys at Colorado State on Nov. 21.
• Ortiz also leads the Big 12 in minutes played per game (37.2) and also ranks 25th with 3.3 3-pointers made per contest.
• Oklahoma is 76-74 all-time against current members of the Southeastern Conference. A win would snap a five-game losing streak to SEC foes (OU's last win came over Arkansas on Nov. 14, 2012).
• Vionise Pierre-Louis' 53 rebounds through five games were the most by an OU player since Courtney Paris recorded 70 in the same amount of games to open the 2008-09 season. Pierre-Louis is just one of two Big 12 players along with Baylor's Lauren Cox currently averaging at least 18.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game.
• The Sooners set season highs with 25 made free throws and 34 free throw attempts at Oregon. The Sooners have been consistent at getting to the foul line - OU is 13th in Division I in free throws made (114) and 23rd in free throw attempts (158).
• Gabbi Ortiz has hit 34 straight shots at the charity stripe dating back to Feb. 11, 2017 at Texas Tech. Ortiz's streak is tied for the third-longest streak in program history. LaNeisha Caufield's streak of 38 consecutive free throws made during the 2001-02 season.
• The Sooners tied a program record for most 3-point attempts in a half with 19 against SMU on Nov 17. OU knocked down nine triples in the opening two quarters, which was also one shy of tying a school record.
• Oklahoma’s non-conference schedule includes matchups against five NCAA Tournament teams from last season (Belmont, DePaul, Oregon, UConn and South Dakota State). Nine of the Sooners' 11 non-conference opponents made postseason appearances last year.
OU hits the road to face South Dakota State on Tuesday inside Frost Arena at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be streamed on ESPN3. The Sooners won last year's meeting with the Jackrabbits, 74-60, in Norman.