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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 16, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000) -- Norman, Oklahoma. Television: Big 12 Network. Home Record: TTU 7-6, OU 5-1. Away Record: TTU 1-0, OU 3-1. Neutral Record: TTU 0-0, OU 3-1. Conference Record: TTU 1-2, OU 2-0. Series Record: Oklahoma leads, 32-19.
GAME NOTES: The Oklahoma Sooners will attempt to extend their season-long winning streak on Wednesday night, as they entertain the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a Big 12 Conference showdown at the Lloyd Noble Center.
After winning its first Big 12 bout of the season on Jan. 5 at TCU (62-53), Texas Tech has slipped up in the past two contests at home against Baylor (82-48) and Kansas (60-46). The Red Raiders are now 8-6 overall, and they are trying to win back-to-back road games for the first time since 2008.
Ever since a disappointing home loss to Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 18, Oklahoma has been on a roll with four consecutive victories to improve to 11-3 overall. The Sooners opened up Big 12 play at West Virginia with a 67-57 win on Jan. 5, then followed that with a 77-68 home victory over bitter rival Oklahoma State last Saturday to move to 5-1 in Norman.
Texas Tech has won four of the last six meetings with Oklahoma, but the Sooners still lead the all-time series, 32-19.
The Red Raiders faced stiff competition last Saturday in hosting nationally- ranked Kansas, and while they played well at the defensive end in holding the Jayhawks well below their season scoring average, they could not take advantage, as they shot just 35.4 percent from the field themselves and lost the turnover battle, 16-9. Jamal Williams scored 11 points in the setback, while Dejan Kravic tallied nine points and eight rebounds. Texas Tech is usually much more efficient at the offensive end, making 43.9 percent of its total shots for 71.2 ppg, but it has struggled mightily from 3-point range (.275). Despite starting just one of the team's 14 games, Jaye Crockett is Tech's most consistent scorer (14.0 ppg) and rebounder (8.2 rpg), shooting greater than 54 percent from the field in the process. Josh Gray (9.7 ppg) comes up with two steals per contest, and Dejan Kravic (9.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and Jordan Tolbert (8.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg) are forces in the paint with a combined 2.7 blocks per outing.
Oklahoma prevailed in the Bedlam rivalry behind a fantastic defensive effort, as it held Oklahoma State below 40 percent shooting, and while it made less than 44 percent from the field itself it made up for it by logging a 90.5 percent showing from the foul line (19-of-21). Romero Osby scored 17 points in the win, Amath M'Baye and Buddy Hield tallied 15 points apiece, and Steven Pledger finished with 11 points and nine boards. On the season, Oklahoma has been well-balanced, sporting a plus-7.0 scoring margin, although in the rough- and-tumble Big 12, both its scoring offense (68.5 ppg) and scoring defense (61.5 ppg) rank in the bottom half of the league, although no team in the conference boasts a better turnover margin (plus-2.3). Osby paces the squad with 13.5 ppg and 6.3 rpg, and in addition to shooting 51.7 percent from the floor, he's a rare big man in that he sports an outstanding percentage at the foul line (.855). Pledger (11.5 ppg) has knocked down a team-high 31 treys at a 36.5 percent clip, and M'Baye adds 10.0 ppg and 5.8 rpg to the mix.
Texas Tech has shown some signs of promise this season, but the Red Raiders are too inconsistent to expect it to win in a hostile environment like the Noble Center, especially against a streaking group of Sooners.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma 67, Texas Tech 61
01/16 10:34:25 ET
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