TCU (9-5) at Oklahoma State (10-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 9, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gallagher-Iba Arena (13,611) -- Stillwater, Oklahoma. Television: Big 12 Network. Home Record: TCU 7-3, OSU 7-1. Away Record: TCU 1-1, OSU 0-2. Neutral Record: TCU 1-1, OSU 3-0. Conference Record: TCU 0-1, OSU 0-1. Series Record: Oklahoma State leads, 17-2.
GAME NOTES: Both the TCU Horned Frogs and the Oklahoma State Cowboys will try for their first Big 12 Conference wins of the season, as the two teams duke it out at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater on Wednesday night.
TCU closed out its non-conference schedule on a three-game win streak, but it entered conference play last Saturday against Texas Tech and it was saddled with a 62-53 home loss. The Horned Frogs have only played two true road games this season, winning at Rice (65-63) and losing at Tulsa (50-49).
Oklahoma State spent much of the first two months of the season ranked in the Top-25 thanks to a 10-1 start, which included signature wins over NC State (76-56), Tennessee (62-45) and South Florida (61-49). Since then however, the Cowboys have dropped from the national rankings following back-to-back losses to a pair of quality opponents, falling at home to Gonzaga in a 69-68 final on New Year's Eve, and dropping a 73-67 decision at Kansas State last Saturday.
The Cowboys have dominated the all-time series with the Horned Frogs, winning 17 of the 19 previous matchups, although this will be the first time they'll meet as conference foes.
The Horned Frogs found themselves down by seven points at the half against Texas Tech and could never recover, as they shot just 35.2 percent from the field (including 1-of-7 from 3-point range) while committing 16 turnovers. Devonta Abron was able to overcome the struggles of his teammates by shooting 7-of-9 from the floor for 16 points, while adding seven rebounds and four blocks. Scoring has been a big issue for TCU all season, as it nets a Big 12- low 57.0 ppg, but luckily it has found plenty of success at the defensive end where it yields just 55.1 ppg, which ranks first in the conference. Kyan Anderson leads the way with 12.5 ppg and 3.8 apg, and although the Frogs connect on less than three 3-pointers per game as a team, more than half of them have come from Anderson (21-of-57). Garlon Green adds 11.5 ppg, while Adrick McKinney (7.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Abron (7.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg) have been solid contributors in the frontcourt.
Oklahoma State kept its bout with Kansas State close throughout, but with the game tied at 64-64 with under three minutes to play, the Wildcats closed out the proceedings on a 9-3 run to saddle the Cowboys with the six-point loss. Although they shot a modest 40.8 percent from the field, they were able to put up a strong effort on the road against a nationally-ranked team by converting 24-of-29 from the free throw line (.828). Marcus Smart was fantastic, netting a career-high 25 points in a performance that helped him earn Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week honors. Markel Brown was also strong in the defeat with 19 points. OSU has played well at both ends of the court this season, earning the league's third-best scoring margin (plus-13.5) by shooting 44.2 percent from the field and holding foes to just 37.4 percent field goal efficiency. Brown is the team's top scorer at 14.5 ppg, although Smart is right on his heels with 14.3 ppg. Smart, a freshman, is one of the more well- rounded guards in the country, adding 6.1 rpg, 4.9 apg, 2.6 spg and 1.1 bpg. Le'Bryan Nash (13.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Phil Forte (11.0 ppg, 32 3PM) round out the unit's balanced attack.
TCU plays the kind of stifling defense that can slow down the Cowboys' high- powered offense, but it may not have the shooting prowess to keep up. At home, OSU should hit enough clutch baskets to end its losing streak.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma State 65, TCU 57
01/09 10:33:40 ET