Big 12 showdown pits Cyclones against Sooners

Norman, OK ( - Kicking off the week in style, the Iowa State Cyclones get after the Oklahoma Sooners in Big 12 Conference action at the Lloyd Noble Center on Monday night.

The Sooners are riding a four-game win streak during which they've pummeled opponents by an average of 21 ppg. The latest win on Saturday was a bit closer however, just a 68-56 triumph over TCU on the road in Fort Worth. With the victory, the Sooners are now 7-4 in conference play, which puts them in third place in the Big 12 standings entering the week.

Just ahead of the Sooners in the standings, with seven wins in 10 opportunities, the Cyclones are among nationally ranked for the 31st straight week, a school record. The team did take a hit this time last week with an 89-76 loss on the road, but that came against No. 8 Kansas.

Over the weekend, Iowa State bounced back in a big way with a 75-38 thrashing of Texas Tech at home where they are a perfect 13-0 this season. The road has been a different story for ISU however, the team winning just two of five true road dates, including one of four in conference.

In terms of the all-time series between the programs, Oklahoma is on top by a 112-82 margin, although Iowa State won the most recent meeting last season by a score of 81-75 at home. The Cyclones will host Oklahoma the first week of March to complete the season series.

The Cyclones scored the first points of the game against Texas Tech on Saturday and never looked back, leading by as many as 43 in the second half. The team made goof on 56.0 percent from the floor and held the Red Raiders to just 4-of-20 shooting beyond the arc and watched the visitors miss all seven chances at the free-throw line.

Jameel McKay led the way for ISU with a game-high 17 points, hitting a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor, adding eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Naz Long tacked on 15 points before head coach Fred Hoiberg called in the reserves.

Georges Niang, who was held to seven points in 19 minutes of action over the weekend, remains the leading scorer for the Cyclones in conference play with 14.8 ppg. Monte Morris, a 50.6 percent shooter from the floor, accounts for another 11.5 ppg and is first with 61 assists and 18 steals, while Bryce Dejean-Jones and Long tack on 10.8 and 10.1 ppg, respectively, for a group generating 76.9 ppg.

Compared to earlier games during their current win streak, the meeting with TCU was harder than expected for the Sooners, but still ended in a double- digit victory nonetheless. Buddy Hield shot only 4-of-13 from the floor, but still finished with a double-double consisting of 16 points and 10 rebounds, matching the rebounding total of TaShawn Thomas who registered eight points. The top scorer was Ryan Spangler with a game-high 21 points, while Isaiah Cousins pitched in with 11 to go with four assists.

Hield, a 40.5 percent shooter from long range, accounts for a team-best 19.7 ppg in conference play. In addition to being a major force on the outside, he is also one of the better rebounders for the group with 6.2 rpg, trailing only Thomas (6.9 rpg) and Spangler (7.3 rpg), the latter posting 11.6 ppg as he knocks down 60.0 percent of his chances from the floor. As a unit, Oklahoma is 45.0 percent accurate from the field, compared to only 38.1 percent for the competition.