Tennessee Tech (6-5) at (24) Oklahoma State (9-1)
Saturday, December 22, 1 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gallagher-Iba Arena (13,611) -- Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Television: FS-OK. Home Record: TTU 4-1, OSU 6-0. Away Record: TTU 2-4, OSU
0-1. Neutral Record: TTU 0-0, OSU 3-0. Conference Record: TTU 0-0, OSU 0-0.
Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The 24th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys put their perfect home
record on the line once again, as they square off against the Tennessee Tech
Golden Eagles on Saturday afternoon at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
TTU's early season has been highlighted by its streakiness, as it opened on a
three-game win streak and immediately followed that up with three straight
losses. The Eagles have been more even-keeled in the month of December, going
3-2, although they are fresh off an 81-62 loss at the hands of Auburn on
After starting the season unranked, Oklahoma State has risen to No. 24 after
an outstanding 9-1 start, with the high point coming in a 76-56 win over
nationally-ranked NC State in the championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off
back on Nov. 18. The Cowboys improved to 6-0 at home on Wednesday with an easy
69-44 win over Texas-Arlington.
This contest marks the first-ever meeting on the hardwood between these two
It's been a modest start for the TTU offense, as it shoots 45.5 percent from
the field for 68.2 ppg, but it has been able to win more games than it has
lost by holding opponents to just 39.5 percent shooting and 63.5 ppg. Nothing
went right in the 19-point road loss to Auburn however, as the Eagles shot
just 37.3 percent from the floor, including a woeful 1-of-18 from 3-point
range, while committing 17 turnovers. They were also in foul trouble all
night, as they sent Auburn to the foul line 40 times (30-of-40). Jud Dillard
overcame the sluggish night from his team by logging 22 points and seven
rebounds, while Dennis Ogbe added 14 points on 6-of-9 from the field. Dillard
is the Ohio Valley Conference's second-leading scorer with 19.0 ppg, and he
puts together stellar percentages from the field (.488) and the foul line
(.844). Jeremiah Samarrippas (9.6 ppg) and Lanerryl Johnson (9.5 ppg) are the
Eagles' next-best scoring options, with Samarrippas handing out 4.4 apg as
Oklahoma State's field goal percentage hasn't been great (.437), but by making
nearly 78 percent of its free throws it is able to pile up 71.5 ppg. Pair its
offensive performance with some stingy defensive play (56.8 ppg), and it
boasts one of the best scoring margins in the Big 12 (plus-14.7). The Cowboys
are coming off their best defensive effort of the season against UTA, as they
allowed just 44 points on 39.1 percent shooting while forcing an incredible 31
turnovers. Leading the way in the victory was Markel Brown with 17 points and
five steals, while Phil Forte had 13 points and Le'Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart
netted 10 points apiece. On the season, Nash has been the scoring catalyst for
OSU as he puts up 15.9 ppg, and Brown is hot on his heels with 14.3 ppg. Smart
(12.7 ppg) hasn't started his freshman campaign off very efficiently (.354),
but he has more than made up for it by being a menace across the stat sheet,
leading the team with 6.6 rpg, 5.2 apg, 2.6 spg and 1.2 bpg.
TTU struggled big time on the road at Auburn, but it's unlikely to shoot 5.5
percent from beyond the arc again. Even if the Eagles do improve their long-
range shooting, they'll be hard-pressed to topple the balanced and disciplined
Cowboys on their home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma State 75, Tennessee Tech 60
12/22 10:33:09 ET
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