Oklahoma Sooners (13-7, 4-4) at Oklahoma State Cowboys (14-6, 4-4)
Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Oklahoma
When: Saturday, 7 P.M. CST
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network/ TuneIn Radio
View From The Enemy: Crimson and Cream Machine
Projected Starting Lineups:
|Oklahoma State Cowboys
|PG: Anthony Hickey
|PG: Jordan Woodard
SG: Phil Forte III
|SG: Buddy Hield
|SG: Jeff Newberry
|SG: Isaiah Cousins
|F: LeBryan Nash
|F: Ryan Spangler
|C: Michael Cobbins
|F: TaShawn Thomas
Oklahoma Sooners - Oklahoma State Cowboys Preview:
The Oklahoma Sooners will make the 85-mile trip north on Saturday for a pivotal Bedlam showdown in Stillwater. Both teams come in to this matchup with a conference record of 4-4. This game is a must-win for Oklahoma State, which has become a trend of late.
Oklahoma State is coming off an impressive 64-53 win against #20-ranked Baylor on Tuesday. The Cowboys shot 44% from the field and 50% from 3 point land. Phil Forte led all scorers with 16 points.
The Sooners are coming off a 45-point beatdown of the Texas Tech Red Raiders, to the tune of 81-36. The Sooners set a Big 12 record for the fewest points allowed in a game.
The last time these two squads met was just two weeks ago, the Sooners made quick work of the Cowboys in Norman with a final score of 82-65. The Sooners jumped on the Cowboys early, and rode Buddy Hield's 27 points and 10-10 shooting to a Bedlam blowout.
The Cowboys have become a very difficult team to beat at home, however. Oklahoma State runs an offense that allows itself to shoot the 3 with regularity. They've been able to do that at home, and on the road. However, the shooting percentages for the Cowboys at home and on the road reveal a stark contrast. In Stillwater, the Cowboys are shooting 38%, and only shooting 27% on the road. It's no coincidence that the Pokes are 4-0 at home and 0-4 on the road.
Keys To The Game:
1. Offensive role players must build on recent success
Tuesday's game against Baylor was the most complete this team has looked since the win over Texas in early January. Tavarius Shine, Jeff Newberry and Michael Cobbins combined for 27 points, while Phil Forte and LeBryan Nash combined for 29. That offensive balance is exactly what the Cowboys will need if they want to pull the upset over Oklahoma on Saturday. Add Anthony Hickey's ability to move the ball around a defense, and this team is very dangerous if they can make their shots.
2. Keep Buddy Hield in check
This one seems pretty obvious to me, but it is easier said than done. Hield is the Big 12's leading scorer, and he didn't miss a shot against the Cowboys in Norman. Hield is shooting 44% from the field this season, and 37% from three. The Pokes can not allow him to get hot again, and if he does, it may be a long night for the Cowboys.
3. REBOUND. REBOUND. REBOUND.
On Tuesday, Cobbins had his most impressive game of the season against Baylor. Being matched up against Rico Gathers is no small task, and Cobbins held his own big time. While Gathers still pulled down 11 boards, Cobbins matched that total. The interior defense of the Cowboys did an excellent job limiting second chance points against Baylor, and they will need to do more of the same in order to win on Saturday.
PREDICITION: Oklahoma State 71- Oklahoma 63
Tavarius Shine is showing increased confidence, Jeff Newberry has emerged as an offensive threat, and Michael Cobbins is coming around on offense, and has been a big time weapon during the last few games. The Cowboys have seen increased quality play from role players of late, and I expect to see more of that on Saturday night.