Ortiz’s career game lifts Oklahoma women by No. 16 USF 79-74

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Gabbi Ortiz had eight 3-pointers and 31 points, both career highs, and Oklahoma pulled away in the last four minutes to defeat No. 16 South Florida 79-74 on Saturday to snap a four-game losing streak.

Vionise Pierre-Louis added 18 points and Ana Llanusa 15 with nine rebounds for the Sooners (4-5), who scored nine straight points to take the lead and turned that into a 14-4 run to seal it.

Kitija Laksa had 21 points for the Bulls (7-2) with Maria Jespersen adding 18, surpassing 1,000 for her career, and 12 rebounds.

USF led 56-53 entering the fourth quarter in a game that had six ties and 11 lead changes and neither team getting a double-figure lead. Oklahoma quickly tied the game before an 8-0 Bulls run. Pierre-Louis had six points in an 8-1 run but, after Laksa’s two free throws made it 67-65 with 4:19 to play, it was all Sooners.

Starting with an Ortiz 3-pointer and including a Shaina Pellington 3-point play, Oklahoma took a 74-67 lead. Jespersen’s 3 cut it to 71-71 with 1:26 to go. The Sooners made 5 of 6 from the line in the final minute as USF missed four straight shots until Jespersen’s 3 with 10 seconds to play.

Ortiz’s streak of consecutive made free throws dating back to last season ended at 37, one shy of the school record by LaNeisha Caufield in 2001-02.