FACTS & STATS: Site: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000) -- Norman, Oklahoma.
Television: ESPN2. Home Record: WVU 8-5, OU 11-2. Away Record: WVU 3-8,
OU 5-6. Neutral Record: WVU 2-3, OU 3-1. Conference Record: WVU 6-10, OU 10-6.
Series Record: Oklahoma leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: For the third time this season the West Virginia Mountaineers and
Oklahoma Sooners will meet on the hardwood, as the two are set for another Big
12 Conference clash, this time at the Noble Center in Norman.
The Sooners beat WVU in the Old Spice Classic back in November and then again
in January in what was the Mountaineers' first-ever Big 12 Conference game.
Oklahoma lead the all-time series, 3-1.
It has been a trying season for coach Bob Huggins' Mountaineers, who enter the
contest in the midst of a four-game slide. WVU became the latest victim of
fourth-ranked Kansas over the weekend, 91-65. The Mountaineers will wrap up
the regular season at home against Iowa State on Saturday.
Oklahoma has notched an 11-2 record at home this season. The Sooners are
coming off an 86-69 rout over Iowa State this past Saturday and have won three
of their last four overall. They'll conclude their schedule at TCU this
WVU allowed Kansas to shoot 56.7 percent from the floor and hit 11-of-18 3-
pointers in Saturday's matchup. The Mountaineers, on the other hand, made only
32.8 percent of their field-goal attempts. Defensively, they simply had no
answer for Jayhawks freshman Ben McLemore, who shot 12-of-15 from the floor
and finished with 36 points, the most by a freshman in KU history. Terry
Henderson provided a spark for the Mountaineers with 20 points off the bench,
as he knocked down 6-of-9 threes. Dominique Rutledge tallied 17 points and 13
rebounds, while Eron Harris rounded out the team's double-digit scorers with
11 points. Harris, a freshman, paces the squad in scoring this season. He is
averaging 11.9 points in conference play and has reached double figures in 11
of his last 14 games. Overall, he is averaging 9.4 points.
Oklahoma's freshman starting guard Buddy Hield began practicing this week for
the first time since breaking his right foot on Feb. 11, although his status
for tonight's game is uncertain. A starter in 13 games prior to the injury,
Hield was averaging 8.6 points and 4.3 rebounds. The Sooners have hopes of
making the NCAA Tournament, and his return would certainly provide a nice
boost for the postseason. As to the rest of the roster, Romero Osby continues
to lead the team in scoring (15.2), rebounding (7.1) and blocks (0.9) while
shooting a healthy 52.2 percent from the floor. Steven Pledger (11.9 ppg, 64-
of-169 3-pt) and Amath M'Baye (10.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg) are also averaging double
figures. In the recent win over Iowa State, Osby tallied 22 points and nine
boards to pace five Sooners in double figures. OU went a perfect 34-of-34 at
the foul line to tie the NCAA record for most free throws made without a miss.
For coach Huggins, this is his first season with a losing record in conference
play since 1985 while at Akron. His Mountaineers won't catch any kind of a
break hear playing on the road against a surging Sooners squad that has
already beaten them twice.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma 78, West Virginia 68