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Cowboys Look to Regroup on Senior Night

Travis Ford and company are looking to turn things around on Senior Night at home against TCU after losing 4 straight.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys have found themselves on the bubble.  After dropping 4 straight, the 'Boys are sitting at (17-11, 7-9) as they head into their Senior Night matchup with the TCU Horned Frogs (17-12, 4-12).  With the Cowboys struggling at home more than usual (11-4 at home this season, losing the last 2 played at home), this makes the rematch with TCU a must win scenario if they want to keep their tourney dreams alive.  However, Oklahoma State has been 8-2 against Texas teams this year.

Coming off their embarrassing 62-63 loss at Texas Tech, the Cowboys have been reeling and need a strong performance from everyone.  The team's two leading scorers, Le'Bryan Nash and Phil Forte have been majorly struggling through the 4 game skid.  While Nash has been struggling in the 1st half to rally in the second, Forte has been struggling everywhere, averaging 7.5 points per game during the skid while shooting .250 from the field and from 3.

Oklahoma State Cowboys Projected Starting Lineup
Pos. Player GP MIN PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% FT% 3P%
G Anthony Hickey Jr. 28 29.7 9.2 4.4 3.3 2.0 0.2 1.6 0.418 0.414 0.366
G Phil Forte III 28 33.6 15.6 2.2 1.7 2.0 0.0 1.9 0.434 0.855 0.400
G Jeff Newberry 28 21.3 6.5 2.5 1.5 1.0 0.4 1.1 0.397 0.792 0.343
F Le'Bryan Nash 27 31.4 16.9 5.4 2.0 0.8 1.0 3.0 0.455 0.785 0.111
F Michael Cobbins 25 27.4 7.0 5.9 0.6 0.8 1.9 1.3 0.602 0.591 0.000

The Horned Frogs on the other hand are playing some of their best basketball of the season, winning 3 of their last 5 games, with the two losses being close games at Oklahoma and at KU.  While the Horned Frogs may be currently sitting on the wrong side of the bubble looking in, that won't stop them from trying their hardest to make their case with the last couple games going into the conference tournament.  Kyan Anderson has been playing very well lately, averaging 13.2 points per game and has been a major facilitator for his team.

TCU Horned Frogs Projected Starting Lineup
Pos. Player GP MIN PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% FT% 3P%
G Kyan Anderson 29 31.8 13.2 1.2 4.3 1.4 0.1 2.5 0.397 0.858 0.327
G Trey Zeigler 29 26.5 9.5 4.1 2.2 0.8 0.4 1.9 0.466 0.590 0.000
F Kenrich Williams 29 26.7 8.6 6.8 1.2 0.9 0.9 1.0 0.489 0.589 0.360
F Chris Washburn 29 23.7 6.9 5.8 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.1 0.458 0.523 0.333
C Karviar Shepherd 29 24.0 6.1 5.6 0.9 0.4 0.8 1.1 0.429 0.609 0.000

In the first meeting of these two teams, the Horned Frogs trounced the Cowboys 55-70.  The Frogs were +5 in rebounding and turnovers while the Cowboys couldn't stay out of foul trouble, sending TCU to the charity stripe 23 times to OSU's 11.  If the Cowboys want to get things going for them early, they'll need to do a couple of things:

Keys to the Game

Crash the Boards: The Cowboys have been struggling with rebounding lately but it doesn't mean that TCU can do it better.  With strong offensive rebounding and consistent defensive rebounding, the 'Boys should be able to stay in control and keep the Frogs at arm's length.

Go Hard in the Paint: Everyone on the team, Nash and Cobbins especially, need to hammer the paint hard and early.  If they can keep the Frogs honest in the paint, it'll open up the 3 game for the shooters all while racking up fouls on TCU's bigs.

Light 'Em Up: The easiest way to get this done is for Forte to get out of his funk and start shooting well again but there's no telling how well that will go.  So Travis Ford needs to look elsewhere to get the team hot.  They will need to get Jeffery Carroll and Jeff Newberry going early if Forte can't bring it.

Game Information

Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, OK

When: 8:00 PM CT

TV: ESPNU/WatchESPN

Radio: Cowboy Radio Network

Prediction

The Cowboys come out strong on Senior Night and play hard from the start and fight hard and wear out TCU early while building a solid lead.  With very motivated play and with more talent the Cowboys get going and keep going to handily beat the Frogs.

Oklahoma State 63, TCU 49