The Pokes went on an impressive three game winning streak but have dropped two straight since then. The Oklahoma State Cowboys will look to rebound with a victory today when they host the Mountaineers from West Virginia. Saturday's game is huge for the Cowboys who desperately need a win to help solidify their tournament resume.
But the win won't come easy as West Virginia is a well coached team that pressures their opponent unlike any other team in the country. The Pokes will need to be nearly perfect on Saturday to pick up a much needed victory.
#24 OSU Cowboys Projected Starting Lineup
|G||Anthony Hickey Jr.||26||29.7||9.2||4.5||3.5||2.1||0.2||1.6||0.42||0.37||0.35|
|G||Phil Forte III||26||33.9||16.5||2.2||1.7||2.1||0.0||1.8||0.45||0.85||0.41|
West Virginia comes in hot as they knocked off Kansas in Morgantown 62-61. The Mountaineers have been great at home but have struggled as of recent on the road where they've lost their last two by an average of 19.5 points.
#23 West Virginia Mountaineers Projected Starting Lineup
|G||Dexter Miles Jr.||26||18.6||6.0||2.1||0.8||1.2||0.1||0.6||0.38||0.45||0.29|
This is the first meeting between these two teams this season but the Pokes have dominated the all-time series as they hold a 4-1 advantage over the 'Eers. West Virginia hasn't beaten Oklahoma State in Stillwater before but they'll look to reverse that trend on Saturday.
Keys To The Game
SLOW DOWN STATEN
Juwan Staten is one of the best players in the conference and comes into this one averaging over 14 points per contest and he'll look to do that and more on Saturday. The Cowboy guards will have to find a way to slow down Staten if the Pokes want a shot at picking up a win.
GET THE BALL TO NASH
Somewhere that the Pokes will have an advantage is down low where they substantially outsize the Mountaineers. If the Pokes can find a way to get the ball down low to Le'Bryan Nash on the block with one-on-one then they'll find success offensively. Nash will have the chance to have a field day against the Mountaineers if the odds are in his favor.
West Virginia is a really good team and has repeatedly shown that they can play with almost anyone in this conference. It's certainly a tough matchup for Oklahoma State but I'll take the Pokes in this one. Look for Le'Bryan Nash to have a monster game as he builds momentum heading into March and I think that Forte III will find his touch and make some big shots down the stretch.
Oklahoma State 69, West Va. 64
Make sure you head back here to CRFF for the postgame recap!