Texas-San Antonio (2-0) vs. Oklahoma State (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 16th, 10:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gallagher-Iba Arena (13,611) -- Stillwater, Oklahoma. Television: None. Home Record: UTSA 0-0, OSU 1-0. Away Record: UTSA 1-0, OSU 0-0. Neutral Record: UTSA 1-0, OSU 1-0. Conference Record: UTSA 0-0, OSU 0-0. Series Record: Oklahoma State leads, 8-0.
GAME NOTES: The Oklahoma State Cowboys are one of the host teams of the 2011 NIT Season Tip-Off, and they continue play in the event tonight with a matchup against the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners. The winner willl move on to the semifinal round next week in New York City.
Texas-San Antonio, a member of the Southland Conference, has welcomed back 12 letterwinners, including four starters, from last season's league title team. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that the squad has opened this new campaign with back-to-back wins. After a nine-point road victory over UTEP to kick things off, the Roadrunners traveled to Stillwater to begin this event. Last night, the squad showed a ton of heart to hold off Oral Roberts in a 78-77 thriller.
The Cowboys opened the season with a 71-39 romp over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and began action in this event last night against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. That game resulted in a lopsided win as well, as Oklahoma State cruised to a 73-46 triumph on its home floor. Head coach Travis Ford leads the Cowboys, who have a chance to make some noise in what appears to be a wide open Big 12 Conference.
The Cowboys own an 8-0 series lead over UTSA, which includes a 79-63 victory last season.
UTSA senior Sei Paye was the hero in last night's game against Oral Roberts, as he knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer to sink the Golden Eagles. Four players reached double figures in scoring for the Roadrunners, who shot a blistering 55.1 percent from the field. Kannon Burrage was tremendous, scoring 20 of his team-high 22 points in the second half, helping UTSA fight back from a 15-point halftime deficit. Jeromie Hill had 12 points, Michael Hale III netted 11 points and Stephen Franklin contributed 10 points. Hall scored 12 points in the season-opening win over UTEP, and his Roadrunners shot 50 percent from the field in that affair while forcing 21 turnovers.
Oklahoma State shot just 35.5 percent from the floor in the first half of yesterday's game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and held a narrow 31-24 lead at intermission. The Cowboys were far more impressive in the final stanza, knocking down 51.6 percent of their shots to cruise to victory. Strong defense was key to the triumph, as OSU limited the overmatched Golden Lions to 31.1 percent shooting from the field, including a 3-of-15 shooting effort from three-point range. The Cowboys also forced 16 turnovers and finished the game with a 51-37 rebounding advantage. Jean-Paul Olukemi led the offensive attack with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor, and Brian Williams contributed 12 points off the bench. Markel Brown (11 points) and Keiton Page (10 points) rounded out the unit's double-digit scorers.
There is no doubt that UTSA can knock off Oklahoma State tonight, but expect the Cowboys to take care of business at home. The Roadrunners figure to be emotionally spent after last night's dramatic win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma State 74, Texas-San Antonio 63
11/16 10:34:10 ET
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