Men's College Basketball
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          === Battle of bitter rivals pits Sooners against Cowboys ===
 
 Stillwater, OK (Sports Network) - The Bedlam Series adds another chapter, as
 the Oklahoma Sooners face the 17th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in Big 12
 Conference action at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Saturday afternoon.
 
 Oklahoma (16-7, 7-4) comes in one game off the pace in the ultra-competitive
 Big 12, trailing Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State (18-5, 8-3). The
 Sooners are in the midst of a modest two-game win streak, the team having
 beaten Kansas (72-66) and TCU (75-48) in the last week. OU is an even 4-4 in
 true road games this season, and its last fray outside of Norman resulted in
 an 83-64 setback at Iowa State on Feb. 4.
 
 Oklahoma State is riding a six-game win streak, and the team is hoping to
 build upon it impressive 12-1 home mark with a win today. The Cowboys are
 coming off back-to-back road triumphs, at Texas (72-59) and Texas Tech
 (91-67), and they will face another stiff test in their next outing, as
 they'll entertain Kansas on Wednesday night.
 
 Oklahoma owns a 124-94 advantage in the all-time series with Oklahoma State,
 and that includes the 77-68 decision the Sooners claimed in the first meeting
 this season, in Norman on Jan. 12. OU has now won two straight and three of
 the last four encounters between the bitter rivals.
 
 Oklahoma doesn't light up the scoreboard like some of the more potent teams in
 the conference, but it does a decent job in netting 67.9 ppg despite shooting
 just 31.1 percent from 3-point range. Defensively, the Sooners yield only 62.9
 ppg, with foes connecting on 40.6 percent of their total shots, which includes
 a 30.7 percent showing from distance. A total of three players currently
 average double figures in the scoring column, led by Romero Osby and his 13.8
 ppg. Also the team's leading rebounder (6.6 rpg), Osby gets help from Steven
 Pledger (10.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Amath M'Baye (10.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg). Balance was
 the key in the recent rout of TCU, as nine guys scored, seven of which had at
 least eight points. M'Baye led the way with 12 points, while Osby chipped in
 with 11. The Sooners shot an even 50 percent from the field, but were just 3-
 of-11 from 3-point range. The Horned Frogs were held to just 11 points in the
 first half, and they made good on only 30.2 percent of their total shots in
 the game, which included a poor 5-of-21 showing from distance.
 
 Oklahoma State is marginally better than its counterpart today in terms of
 both scoring offense (72.5 ppg) and scoring defense (60.8 ppg), and the Pokes
 presently lead the Big 12 in free throw percentage (.743) and turnover margin
 (+2.6). The team boasts four double-digit scorers, led by Markel Brown and his
 15.8 ppg. Marcus Smart is another standout performer for OSU, as he nets 14.4
 ppg, while grabbing 5.8 rpg and handing out 4.5 apg. Le'Bryan Nash (12.8 ppg,
 4.2 rpg) and Phil Forte (11.3 ppg) contribute as well, and it was Brown who
 was high man for the Cowboys in the blowout win over Texas Tech the last time
 out, as he nailed 7-of-8 3-point attempts en route to 25 points. Forte was his
 usual steady self in coming off the bench to net 14 points, Michael Cobbins
 recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 boards, and Smart chipped in
 with 10 points. Oklahoma State shot 56.1 percent from the field, which
 included a sizzling 12-of-20 effort from long range, and it held the Red
 Raiders to just 37.0 percent field goal efficiency.
 
 
 
 02/16 11:12:11 ET

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