As OSU associate head coach Sean Sutton said, "This one could get ugly."
That's because the Cowboys (4-0) and the Cougars (3-1) play two entirely different styles of basketball. OSU, ranked sixth in this week's Associated Press poll, likes to score points (averaging 82.5 points a game). Washington State head coach Dick Bennett likes a slower tempo, and his Cougars are averaging just 45.5 points a game. The Cougars won at Idaho 37-36 – yes, that was the final score – on Tuesday night.
The Cougars' lone loss was to Kansas State 62-53 in Manhattan, Kan., on Nov. 27
The Cowboys have won 116 of 117 nonconference games played at Gallagher-Iba Arena dating back to Jan. 7, 1987. The lone loss was to Florida Atlantic on Dec. 1, 1998, but OSU bounced back and began its current streak by defeating Houston Baptist 114-62 in its next game.
Oklahoma State has not allowed more than 66 points in 32 of their last 33 home nonconference games, and will be looking to keep that streak intact today.
The Cowboys are led by senior point guard John Lucas who averages 21.8 points and 3.8 assists a game. Joey Graham contributes 18.3 points and 5.8 rebounds. Ivan McFarlin is also in double figures with 10.8 points.
Terrence Crawford, who made his first start in nearly four years this past Monday against SMU, is expected to be in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game. He has scored nine points in the Cowboys' last two games.
After Saturday's game, the Cowboys will travel to New York City to face Syracuse in the Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m., and the game can be seen on ESPN. The game will be the second of a doubleheader with Memphis facing Pittsburgh in the first game.
Basketball: Cowboys Return to Action
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