Stillwater, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - With their sights set on a quick turnaround, the 10th-ranked Texas Longhorns take to the road on Saturday, for a Big 12 showdown with the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Rick Barnes' Longhorns are sitting at 12-3 on the season, but are coming off a humbling setback at home to nationally-ranked Oklahoma on Monday, 70-49. The loss was the second in the last four games for Texas, which now sits at just 1-1 in conference play.
Travis Ford's Cowboys aren't far off Texas' pace, as OSU comes into this contest at 11-3 overall. The team has also split its two league bouts thus far, knocking off Kansas State (61-47) at home, followed by Tuesday's narrow road loss at nationally-ranked Iowa State (63-61).
Texas holds a 46-37 lead in the all-time series with Oklahoma State. Texas won the most recent meeting last February (87-68), but OSU has won four of the last five matchups overall.
The Longhorns were stifled by the Sooners last time out and finished the game converting just 18-of-60 field-goal opportunities (.300). The game was really decided in the first half, as Texas trailed 33-14 at the break. Only Javan Felix finished with a double-digit scoring total, coming off the bench with 13 points for Texas. Isaiah Taylor was next in the scoring column with nine points, but the pair were a mere 8-of-25 from the floor combined in the loss.
Texas struggled to contain Oklahoma last time out and that has been a rarity this season. In fact, the Longhorns have thrived on the defensive end of the floor, holding foes to just 56.5 ppg on an anemic .342 shooting, while maintaining an impressive +13.1 rebounding margin. The team has also amassed 111 blocks and ranks third nationally with 7.4 blocks per game. Taylor has played in just five games this season (wrist injury) but he currently paces the team with 12.4 ppg. Jonathan Holmes is a close second with 12.1 ppg, followed by Myles Turner (11.2 ppg) and Felix (10.6 ppg).
The Cowboys have some balance, as they have performed well at both ends of the court for the most part. The team is averaging 71.9 ppg on .455 shooting, while allowing just 58.6 on .375 efficiency. OSU boasts of the Big 12's most potent one-two scoring punch in the form of guard Phil Forte and forward Le'Bryan Nash. Forte leads the team and the conference in scoring with 17.6 ppg, followed right behind by Nash's 17.5 ppg (second in the Big 12).
ISU's Dustin Hogue blocked Tavarius Shine's 3-point attempt with under a second to play and handed the Cyclones the one-point win at home over the Cowboys this week. OSU rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to actually take a narrow lead in the second half, but could not hold off the hometown team. Forte and Nash were once again the driving forces for Oklahoma State at the offensive end, combining for 40 points in the loss. Forte was 8-of-15 from the floor to lead all scorers with 21 points. Nash went 8-of-16 and totaled 19 points in the setback.