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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, February 4, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hilton Coliseum (14,376) -- Ames, Iowa. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: OU 7-2, ISU 12-0. Away Record: OU 4-3, ISU 2-5. Neutral Record: OU 3-1, ISU 1-1. Conference Record: OU 5-3, ISU 5-3. Series Record: Oklahoma leads, 110-79.
GAME NOTES: Two of the four teams tied for third place in the Big 12 Conference standings will square off on Monday when the Oklahoma Sooners take on the Iowa State Cyclones at the Hilton Coliseum.
This will be the 190th meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood. Oklahoma owns a 110-79 all-time series lead and has won 12 of the last 18 meetings. However, the Cyclones swept the season series last year, winning 77-70 on the road and 80-69 in Ames to snap a six-game losing streak to the Sooners. Both schools own a 5-3 Big 12 record coming into Monday.
Oklahoma is an improved team this season as it has a chance to match its win total from 2011-12 during its trip to Ames. The Sooners have alternated loses with wins over their last five games, the most recent of which being a heartbreaking, 52-50, loss to No. 18 Kansas State at home on Saturday. Steven Pledger, Buddy Hield, and Je'lon Hornbeak combined to go 2-of-12 from the floor for six points in the setback, which dropped coach Lon Kruger's squad to a 14-6 overall record.
The Sooners have relied heavily on Romero Osby for leadership this season. The senior forward is pacing the team in scoring (14.2 ppg), rebounding (6.6 rpg), and field-goal percentage (.508). Osby has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in 11 of the last 13 games and has produced 16.5 ppg in Big 12 action, which is the fifth highest mark in the conference. Pledger is the second leading scorer on the squad at 11.0 ppg, while the athletic Amath M'Baye chips in 10.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per tilt. Oklahoma is ranked sixth in the Big 12 in both scoring offense (67.6) and scoring defense (62.5).
Fred Hoiberg's Cyclones do not have as much balance as the visitors, as they lead the Big 12 in scoring offense with 78.5 ppg, but also have the second worst scoring defense (67.1 ppg). The consistently high-scoring outputs is partially due to the team's tendency to find success from long distance with 9.0 makes from 3-point range per game. Iowa State, which is a perfect 12-0 at home, is coming off a 79-71 win over Baylor that was powered by a 25-of-30 showing at the free-throw line. Will Clyburn netted 28 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the way, while Georges Niang scored 17 points.
Clyburn leads ISU with 15.0 ppg, while also adding 7.6 rpg. Melvin Ejim (10.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.0 spg) and Niang (11.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg) are also crucial pieces in the post game for the team. Tyrus McGee (12.3 ppg), Korie Lucious (9.7 ppg, 5.5 apg) and Chris Babb (9.2 ppg) have combined to drain 125 buckets from beyond the arc. Lucious, who spent the first three seasons of his career playing for Tom Izzo in East Lansing, is in a shooting slump lately. The senior guard has gone 4-of-18 from the field and 1-of-9 from beyond the arc over his past two games.
The Cyclones' perfect home record will be put to the test in this one as the incoming Sooners managed to upset Baylor on the road in their last away game. Oklahoma's backcourt, which had a terrible performance against KSU, should find it much easier on Monday on the offensive end, but it will need to keep Babb and Lucious in check to ruin ISU's streak at Hilton Coliseum.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iowa State 74, Oklahoma 70
02/04 10:31:33 ET