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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 20, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: United Spirit Arena (15,020) -- Lubbock, Texas. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: OU 9-2, Texas Tech 8-9. Away Record: OU 4-5, TTU 1-5. Neutral Record: OU 3-1, TTU 0-0. Conference Record: OU 7-5, TTU 2-10. Series Record: Oklahoma leads, 33-19.
GAME NOTES: The Texas Tech Red Raiders attempt to halt a six-game slide on Wednesday night when they entertain the Oklahoma Sooners in a Big 12 Conference showdown at United Spirit Arena.
Oklahoma fought hard on the road last Saturday against Oklahoma State in the Bedlam rivalry, but ultimately fell short against its nationally-ranked foe, 84-79 in overtime. Despite suffering losses in three of their last five games, the Sooners are still in the midst of a solid season at 7-5 in the Big 12, with twice as many wins as losses overall (16-8).
Not where it wants to be, but Texas Tech (9-14) has set up shop at the bottom of the Big 12 standings, as it has won just two of its 12 conference bouts. The Red Raiders battled tough at West Virginia on Saturday, but in the end they fell just short, 66-64.
The Sooners had their way with the Red Raiders in the first meeting this season, winning 81-63 in Norman on Jan. 16, to extend their lead in the all- time series to 33-19.
Oklahoma never trailed in the second half of its latest outing, but it gradually saw its advantage (which was as large as 10) dissipate down the stretch until Oklahoma State tied the game and forced overtime on a pair of Marcus Smart free throws in the final minute of regulation, and the Cowboys scored the final five points of the extra session to hand the Sooners the heart-breaking loss. Romero Osby, Steven Pledger and Sam Grooms all scored 18 points for OU, with Osby contributing a season-high 15 rebounds as well. Je'lon Hornbeak added 10 points in the setback. OU has been steady at both ends of the court this season, ranking sixth in the Big 12 in both scoring offense (68.4 ppg) and scoring defense (63.8 ppg) for a solid scoring margin of +4.6. Osby is a force to be reckoned with in the low post, as he nets 14.0 ppg on 50 percent field goal shooting while adding 7.0 ppg and nearly a block per contest as well. Pledger (10.9 ppg) is active from 3-point range, making 45-of-131 attempts (.344), while Amath M'Baye chips in 10.3 ppg and 5.5 rpg. The Sooners will likely be without Buddy Hield (8.6 ppg) for the remainder of the season as he nurses a broken right foot.
Down by eight points with only 2:31 left in the game, Texas Tech mounted a comeback and had an opportunity to win the game on its final possession, but a Josh Gray 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark as it dropped the hard-fought two-point defeat. The Red Raiders shot a modest 41.1 percent from the field in the contest, and they were plagued by a lackluster showing at the foul line (11-of-18). Jaye Crockett tallied a double-double off the bench with 18 points and 10 rebounds while also notching six steals. Dusty Hannahs (12 points), Jamal Williams (11 points), Jordan Tolbert (10 points) and Gray (eight assists) were also solid despite the losing effort. Although Texas Tech's scoring offense (66.0 ppg) hasn't exactly been impressive, its uninspired point total isn't even its biggest issue, as it yields a Big 12- worst 71.1 ppg to its opponents. Crockett has started just three games, but he has proven to be one of the top reserves in the country, netting 12.1 ppg on 51.5 percent field goal shooting to go with 7.0 rpg. Tolbert (9.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Dejan Kravic (9.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg) are also solid down low, while Gray (8.8 ppg) has more turnovers (77) than assists (73).
Texas Tech actually has the manpower on the inside to match up pretty well with Oklahoma's big men, but the Red Raiders haven't showed up at home lately, losing its last three in Lubbock by a combined 49 points. Expect Oklahoma to overcome this road obstacle to get back on track.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma 72, Texas Tech 66
02/20 11:03:23 ET
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