OSU-Texas Tech: Preview

Both the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas Tech Red Raiders will be well rested entering Saturday afternoon's nationally televised Big 12 Conference showdown at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The eighth-ranked Cowboys, 19-3, have not played since last Saturday's 66-59 win at Texas A&M, and the Red Raiders, 16-6, will have had five days to recover from their 80-79 double-overtime victory over league-leading Kansas.

Oklahoma State enters Saturday's game with a 19-3 overall record and 9-2 in the Big 12, trailing first-place Kansas by just one game. Texas Tech is 16-6 overall and 8-3 in the conference standings. The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports with announcers Verne Lundquist (play-by-play) and Billy Packer (analyst). Tip-off on Eddie Sutton Court is set for 2:30 p.m. (CST)

The Cowboys are ranked eighth in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll and moved up to No. 7 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches rankings (released Monday, Feb. 14). Texas Tech is No. 25 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches and would be ranked in a tie for No. 28 in the AP poll. Oklahoma State is No. 4 in the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) that is used to help determine seedings for the NCAA Tournament, while Texas Tech is No. 43.

OSU leads the series with Texas Tech, 23-10, including a 9-3 record in games played in Stillwater. The Cowboys are on a three-game winning streak vs. Tech, and have won 14 of the last 18 contests between the two teams. In the last 10 games, OSU has won six by an average of six points while Texas Tech has won four by an average of 18 points. OSU is 14-6 vs. Texas Tech since the Big 12 was formed in 1996-97.

Oklahoma State, thanks to Texas Tech's win over Kansas on Monday night, now controls its own destiny if it wants to repeat as the Big 12 Conference champs. The Cowboys must take care of business against the Red Raiders, a team they defeated 76-66 in Lubbock on Jan. 8, and when they travel to Nebraska next Tuesday before a showdown with the first-place Jayhawks on Sunday, Feb. 27, in Lawrence, Kan. The Cowboys have won five in a row since head coach Eddie Sutton inserted freshman guard JamesOn Curry into the starting lineup. In those five victories, the Cowboys are averaging 81.4 points and shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from behind the three-point line. But the improvement that Sutton has noticed is on the defensive end of the court. At Texas A&M, playing in front of the largest Reed Arena crowd ever (13,016), the Cowboys held the Aggies to just 39.2 percent shooting from the floor, including 4-of-16 from three-point range. OSU also outrebounded Texas A&M, 39-30. Joey Graham has dropped to second in the Big 12 in scoring (18.5 points), behind KU's Wayne Simien (18.8). John Lucas is now fourth in scoring (17.6), while leading the Big 12 in assist/turnover ratio (2.86) and three-pointers made per game (2.91). He also ranks second in three-point percentage (41.6 percent) and is fifth in assists per game (4.68). Ivan McFarlin is averaging 12.4 points and 7.4 rebounds (fifth in the Big 12). Joey Graham is eighth in the league in rebounding with an average of 6.9 per game. The Cowboys' 27-game homecourt winning streak is the longest in the nation. A win over the Red Raiders will move the current streak into a tie for third longest in school history. The longest homecourt winning streak in school history is 49 games (Jan. 9, 1936-Dec. 21, 1940).

Texas Tech enters Saturday's game with an 8-3 record in the Big 12, just one game behind OSU. The Red Raiders are led by guard Ronald Ross, who is averaging 17.3 points per game. Ross is shooting 56.6 percent from the floor, including 51.7 percent from three-point range. Jarrius Jackson (15.4 points, 2.2 assist/turnover ratio) teams with Ross to give the Red Raiders one of the Big 12's best backcourts. Two other players – Martin Zeno (13.4 points) and Devonne Giles (12.0 points) – are also scoring in double figures. The Red Raiders are the Big 12's top scoring team, averaging 82. 3 points per game. A big part of their game is three-point shooting, where they lead the Big 12 with a 43.7 percentage (110-of-252 from behind the arc). They are also the best free-throw shooting team in the Big 12, making nearly 78 percent of their free throws. The Red Raiders are coached by Bob Knight, who has compiled an 848-328 record in his 39-year coaching career. He is 84-39 in this his fourth season at Texas Tech.

F: 14 Joey Graham (6-7, 225, Sr., 18.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
F: 23 Ivan McFarlin (6-8, 240, Sr., 12.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg)
G: 15 John Lucas (5-11, 165, Sr., 17.6 ppg, 4.7 apg)
G: 20 Daniel Bobik (6-5, 210, Sr., 6.5 ppg, 3.5 apg)
G: 24 JamesOn Curry (6-3, 190, Fr., 7.7 ppg, 2.2 apg)
G: 21 Stephen Graham (6-6, 215, Sr., 7.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
F: 42 Terrence Crawford (6-6, 230, Sr., 4.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg)

F: 21 Devonne Giles (6-8, 225, Sr., 12.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.9 bpg)
F: 44 Darryl Dora (6-9, 235, So., 6.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg)
F: 3 Martin Zeno (6-5, 190, Fr., 13.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.5 apg)
G: 24 Ronald Ross (6-2, 185, Sr., 17.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.2 apg)
G: 22 Jarrius Jackson (6-1, 185, So., 15.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.7 apg)
F: 32 Curtis Marshall (6-5, 190, Sr., 8.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
G: 5 Drew Coffman (6-1, 175, So., 3.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg)

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