Stillwater, OK – Stillwater, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Big 12 Conference rivals tied for fifth place in the league standings get together for the latest installment of the Bedlam Series, as the Oklahoma State Cowboys host the 24th- ranked Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday night.
The Sooners are coming off their most spirited defensive effort of the season on Wednesday night, holding Texas Tech to a mere 36 points in a 45-point home win. The victory snapped a two-game slide for OU and evened the team's league mark at 4-4, which is where OSU stands at the moment as well.
Oklahoma set a record for the fewest points allowed in a conference outing and notched the second-largest margin of victory in Big 12 play, behind only a 49- point thrashing of Baylor during the 2002-03 campaign.
As for the Cowboys, they too are coming off a win earlier in the week, having taken down nationally-ranked Baylor on Tuesday by a final of 64-53 at home. The victory was the second in the last three outings for the program and was the fourth straight home win.
Oklahoma leads the all-time series by a 132-95 margin, winning the most recent meeting at home in Norman two weeks ago, 82-65, as Buddy Hield shot a perfect 10-of-10 from the floor, including 4-of-4 behind the 3-point line, en route to a game-high 27 points for the hosts as they overcame 17 turnovers by shooting 55.8 percent from the field, compared to only 37.3 percent for the visitors.
The Sooners stomped the life out of Texas Tech a few nights back, allowing the Red Raiders to shoot a paltry 21.2 percent from the field, including 3-of-17 behind the 3-point line, all while turning the ball over 17 times, leading to 32 Oklahoma points. On offense the hosts relied on Ryan Spangler to tally a game-high 20 points on 8-of-9 from the field, followed by Hield and Isaiah Cousins with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Oklahoma, which led by as many as 49 in the meeting, made good on 52.5 percent from the field.
Over the course of eight conference games, Hield has connected on 49.1 percent of his field goal tries, en route to a team-best 20.6 ppg, not to mention coming up with 6.3 rpg as well. He has managed to extend defenses by knocking down a team-best 22 triples in league play, while Cousins (11.9 ppg) has come up with 19 3-pointers of his own. Spangler (10.5 ppg), who is only 1-of-9 out on the perimeter, should understand that his strength lies on the interior where he paces the group with 7.4 rpg.
OSU's recent victory may not have been as substantial in terms of margin, but taking down a nationally-ranked conference foe is still a major accomplishment for the Cowboys nonetheless. Phil Forte helped lead the way with 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting behind the 3-point line, while Le'Bryan Nash and Jeff Newberry accounted for 13 and 10 points, respectively. Anthony Hickey nearly pulled off a double-double as he tallied eight points and handed out a game-high 10 assists, while Michael Cobbins finished with a stat line of six points, 11 boards and five blocked shots.
Forte has been making his 3-point attempts at a 47.8 percent clip during league play, resulting in 17.9 ppg which paces Oklahoma State entering the weekend. Nash produces another 16.0 ppg as the duo combine to account for better than half the unit's 61.6 ppg. At the defensive end, Nash also has 11 blocks, second to Cobbins who has logged 21 rejections, resulting in opponents putting up only 59.5 ppg.