The Cowboys are coming off a heartbreaking 74-72 home loss to the Oklahoma Sooners. Jawun Evans led the Cowboys with a breakout performance. Evans scored a career and Oklahoma State freshman high 42 points. The Cowboys come into this game with a 9-7 overall record (1-3) in the Big 12. Cowboys are 6-1 in their last seven games vs the Longhorns.
Texas Longhorns led by their first year coach Shaka Smart look to protect home court against the Cowboys. The Longhorns sit in the middle of the Big 12 conference with a 2-2 record, 10-6 overall. Coming off a 94-91 home overtime win against the Iowa State Cyclones, the Longhorns look to make it 3/3 on their home court in Big 12 play.
Who: Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Texas Longhorns
When: Saturday, January 16th, 6pm EST.
Where: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas.
Twitter: Follow @CowboysRFF for updates.
Last Meeting: 65-63 overtime win for the Cowboys.
The Longhorns are led by junior guard Isaiah Taylor who leads the team in scoring (17.1) and assists (4.9). Taylor averages 30.4 minutes a game. Taylor is a shrewd operator, he's able to attack the basket at will using his elite speed and quickness. Taylor gets to the free-throw line early and often as he leads the Longhorns with 111 attempts on the year, shooting 76% from the line. Taylor did it all for the Longhorns this past Tuesday against the Cyclones as he scored 28 points, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out six assists.
Senior forward Cameron Ridley remains out for the Longhorns. He's out indefinitely with a fractured foot injury which he suffered in practice prior to the Longhorns home game against Connecticut. Through 11 games Ridley was averaging 12.7 points per game, 10.4 rebounds per game, and 3.4 blocks per game. The Longhorns have gone 2-3 in his absence.
Keys to the game:
Jawun Evans vs Isaiah Taylor.
This individual matchup will go a long way in deciding this game. Both players are coming off great efforts this past week and will match up against one another in this pivotal Big 12 showdown. Foul trouble will be key early on, it will be important for both Evans and Taylor to stay on the floor and run their respective teams. Evans and Taylor can fill up the stat sheet, whether it's scoring or finding open teammates once the defensive focus shifts on them. Don't blink because you might miss something special from these two players.
The Cowboys have to take care of the ball. The Longhorns will look to set up Shaka Smart's Havoc defense on made baskets. The Longhorns will try to speed up the Cowboys and force them to make bad decisions with the ball. Evans and Jeff Newberry must remain poised under pressure at a hostile environment. Taking care of the ball early and settling into a consistent offensive rhythm will help the Cowboys keep pace early and have a chance to win this game late.