Oklahoma (18-7) at Oklahoma State (16-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 15, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gallagher-Iba Arena (13,611) -- Stillwater, Oklahoma. Television: ESPN 2. Home Record: Oklahoma 11-3, OSU 10-2. Away Record: Oklahoma 3-3, OSU 2-5. Neutral Record: Oklahoma 4-1, OSU 4-1. Conference Record: Oklahoma 7-5, OSU 4-7. Series Record: Oklahoma leads, 130-95.
GAME NOTES: In-state rivals will collide at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Saturday, as the Oklahoma Sooners visit the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a pivotal Big 12 Conference clash.
This game will feature a little less star power, as Marcus Smart is serving the second part of a three-game suspension for his altercation with a Texas Tech fan last Saturday. The Cowboys' first run without Smart did not go well, as they were routed, 87-68, by 19th-ranked Texas on Tuesday. They have lost four straight games and at just 4-7 in league play, are far from in contention for the conference crown. They will visit Baylor next before Smart returns for a rematch with Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders' fingerprints are all over this contest, as Oklahoma is coming off a 68-60 loss to Texas Tech on Wednesday. The Sooners have lost three of their last four games, but are still a solid 18-7 overall and 7-5 in conference action. There are only five games on the schedule following this bout, with the next coming against Kansas State.
Oklahoma defended its home floor with an 88-76 win over Oklahoma State at the end of January. The Sooners have won three of the last four meetings with their in-state rivals, increasing their all-time series advantage to 130-95.
Despite playing at home, Oklahoma couldn't take down Texas Tech. The game was won at the free-throw line, where the Sooners were outscored, 20-6. OU also hit on just 42.7 percent from the field and was outrebounded, 36-29. Cameron Clark tallied 16 points to pace the losing effort.
Oklahoma was uncharacteristically weak on offense on Wednesday. The Sooners are 12th in the nation and second in the Big 12 in scoring (82.9 ppg), while shooting a respectable 45.2 percent from the field. Buddy Hield (16.4 ppg) and Clark (15.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg) lead the way for the Sooners, with each among the top 15 scorers in the conference. Hield was ice cold against Texas Tech, finishing with just three points on 1-of-13 shooting. Jordan Woodward (11.3 ppg, 4.7 apg) is a decent scorer and is fifth in the Big 12 in assists. Also in the mix are Isaiah Cousins (10.7 ppg and Ryan Spangler (10.4 ppg, 9.8 rpg), who leads the conference on the glass.
With Smart sidelined, the Cowboys were lost offensively against Texas. They only hit on 35.6 percent of their shots from the floor, while assisting on just six field goals. Markel Brown did his best to keep the ship steady, but his team-high 18 points came on 4-of-14 from the floor.
When they are at full strength the Cowboys are also a potent offensive team. They are third in the Big 12 in scoring (82.2 ppg) and second in field goal percentage (.472). However, without Smart (17.5 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.3 spg), who leads the team in scoring, assists and steals, Oklahoma State just isn't the same team at either end of the floor. Brown (16.7 ppg) will likely continue to fill in as the go-to option, as he is a talented scorer in his own right. Le'Bryan Nash (14.8 ppg) and Phil Forte (12.2 ppg) have also been reliable, but depth is not a strength with Brian Williams (7.2 ppg) the next-best scoring threat.
Losing Smart won't take any of the emotion out of this rivalry game. However, without him, the already struggling Cowboys will need to get big games up and down the roster to hold off an Oklahoma squad at full strength.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma State 77, Oklahoma 75
02/15 10:48:05 ET