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Gabbi Ortiz Named To Preseason All-Big 12 Team

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Oklahoma sophomore guard Gabbi Ortiz was selected to the six-member Preseason All-Big 12 Women’s Basketball Team while teammates Gioya Carter, Peyton Little and Kaylon Williams were named honorable mention, the league office announced Wednesday.

All four players are OU’s returning starters from last year’s 21-12 team that finished in sole possession of second place in the Big 12 and appeared in its 16th-consecutive NCAA Tournament.

The four selections for the Sooners ranked as the most of any team in the Big 12.

Ortiz joined Baylor’s Nina Davis and Niya Johnson, Oklahoma State’s Brittany Martin, TCU’s Zahna Medley and West Virginia’s Bria Holmes on the first team. Six players were chosen due to a tie in the voting. The awards were chosen by the league’s head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.

Davis was selected as the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year with her teammate Alexis Jones (Duke transfer) earned Preseason Newcomer of the Year. Texas’ Lashann Higgs was named the Preseason Freshman of the Year.

A native of Racine, Wis., Ortiz earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors a year ago. Ortiz led the Sooners with 3.6 assists per game and chipped in 8.2 points while starting all 33 games at point guard. She became the first OU player to win Big 12 Freshman of the Year since Whitney Hand in 2009. Ortiz recently helped Team USA to a gold medal this summer, starting all seven games at the FIBA U19 World Championships.

Little was the 2015 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, leading the Sooners with 12.6 points per game and averaging 15.1 points in conference play. Carter scored in double-figures 10 times against Big 12 opponents during the 2014-15 season, while Williams led the conference in field-goal percentage (.596) en route to a 12.2 scoring average. Both earned All-Big 12 Second Team selections a year ago.

The Big 12 Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll will be announced on Oct. 14.

The Sooners begin the season on Nov. 4 with an exhibition game against Southwestern Oklahoma State at the Lloyd Noble Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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