NORMAN – Five University of Oklahoma women’s basketball players earned recognition as the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Awards were announced on Wednesday.
OU’s Shaina Pellington was named the 2018 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, becoming the seventh player in school history to win the award. Vionise Pierre-Louis was selected to the All-Big 12 First Team, while Gabbi Ortiz earned a spot on the All-Big 12 Second Team. Maddie Manning, Ana Llanusa and Pellington were each tabbed All-Big 12 honorable mention. OU's five All-Big 12 selections were the most of any team in the conference.
Llanusa and Pellington were both honored as All-Big 12 Freshman Team selections, becoming the ninth and 10th players in school history to receive the honor. Pellington was a unanimous pick as Oklahoma was the only school with two players on the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
The honors were voted on by the league’s head coaches, who are not allowed to vote on their own players.
Pellington finished the regular season as the Big 12’s leading scorer among freshmen at 12.8 points per game. She ranks second nationally among Division I freshmen with a .495 field goal percentage and turned in six 20-point scoring performances this year.
The Pickering, Ontario, native joins an impressive list of Sooners to win Big 12 Freshman of the Year: Gabbi Ortiz (2015), Whitney Hand (2009), Danielle Robinson (2008), Courtney Paris (2006), Chelsi Welch (2003) and LaNeisha Caufield (1999). The Sooners now lead all schools with seven Big 12 Freshman of the Year awards.
Pierre-Louis became the first Sooner since 2015 to be named to the All-Big 12 First Team, averaging a career-best 16.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. The senior leads the Big 12 in blocks per game (2.6) and ranks second in field goal percentage (.608).
The Lake Worth, Fla., native’s 73 blocks rank as the sixth-most by a Sooner in a single season. Pierre-Louis, who was the 2016 Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year and a 2017 All-Big 12 Second Team selection, averaged 16.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in league play.
Ortiz averaged 12.4 points per game in 29 starts this season, leading the Sooners with a .385 percentage from 3-point range and a .942 clip at the free throw line. The senior has made 80 3-pointers, which is the seventh-most in a single season at OU.
Ortiz led the Big 12 in minutes played (36.5) and ranks second in the conference with 2.8 3-pointers made per game. The Racine, Wis., native is third all-time at OU with 211 career 3-pointers and is eighth in minutes played.
Manning claimed All-Big 12 honorable mention honors for the second straight season, averaging 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. The Ankeny, Iowa, native averaged 2.0 steals per game this season, ranks 10th in the conference in minutes played (33.8) and is 12th in free throw percentage (.760).
Llanusa averaged 12.4 points per game during the regular season, the second-best scoring average by a freshman in the Big 12. The Choctaw, Okla., native recorded a career-high 27 points twice during the year, the most points scored by a Big 12 freshman in a single game all season. Llanusa currently ranks seventh all-time on OU’s freshman list for made 3-pointers with 41 treys.
The Sooners begin the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championships on Saturday as the No. 4 seed. Oklahoma will take on No. 5 seed TCU at 11 a.m. CT inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.
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