Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-0) at Oklahoma State (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 15th, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gallagher-Iba Arena (13,611) -- Stillwater, Oklahoma. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UAPB 0-0, OSU 1-0. Away Record: UAPB 0-0, OSU 0-0. Neutral Record: UAPB 0-0, OSU 0-0. Conference Record: UAPB 0-0, OSU 0-0. Series Record: Oklahoma State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: As part of the NIT Season Tip-off, the Oklahoma State Cowboys welcome the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions to Stillwater tonight.
This game marks the season opener for Arkansas-Pine Bluff, a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Golden Lions lost their first 14 games last season and could not recover. The team finished with only seven wins in league play, but that is a number that could improve slightly thanks to the return of a few experienced performers.
This marks Oklahoma State's third appearance in the NIT Season Tip-Off. The Cowboys won the championship game of the 1991 event with a 78-71 victory over Georgia Tech, and they figure to play with confidence tonight after crushing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 71-39, on Friday to open the season. OSU is a member of the Big 12 Conference and is led by head coach Travis Ford.
OSU is 1-0 all-time against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and has never lost to a SWAC school in 19 previous games.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff will likely lean on the tandem of Daniel Broughton and Terrell Kennedy in the paint both tonight and all season. Both players averaged 9.1 ppg last year and both have the potential to reach double figures this time around. However, the coaching staff would like to see both do better on the glass, as Broughton averaged just 4.6 rpg a year ago, while Kennedy pulled down 4.3 rpg. Taking care of business in the backcourt will be Savalace Townsend, who averaged 11.9 ppg last season and should improve on that number now that he will likely be the go-to guy. However, that means he will have the ball in his hands more, and that could be a problem for the team since he led the squad with 98 turnovers a year ago.
Oklahoma State put forth a tremendous defensive effort in the first half of Friday's game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, limiting its overmatched opponent to 5-of-27 shooting from the floor en route to a 20-point halftime advantage. OSU finished the game with just six turnovers while forcing 20, and a 13-6 edge in points from the foul line helped the cause. Keiton Page is expected to be a major contributor at the offensive end this season for OSU, but he was quiet on Friday, scoring just seven points in 26 minutes of action. Le'Bryan Nash netted 13 points in the affair, and Cezar Guerrero pitched in 12 points. The third and final double-digit scorer for the Pokes was Jean-Paul Olukemi with 11 points.
Expect OSU to get the job done in this affair, cruising past UAPB in a game that should be decided by intermission. Expect a breakout performance by Page.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma State 74, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 52
11/15 10:33:02 ET