OSU-Texas A&M: Preview

Oklahoma State returns home for its final two games of the season beginning with Wednesday night's Big 12 Conference game against Texas A&M. OSU, 20-5, enters the game after losing its last two games -- the first time the Cowboys have lost back-to-back games in two years. Texas A&M, 18-7, makes the trip to Stillwater having won three in a row, including Saturday's 85-63 victory over 25th-ranked Texas Tech in College Station. OSU beat Texas A&M 66-59 in College Station on Feb. 12.

THE MATCHUP
Oklahoma State enters Wednesday's game against Texas A&M with a 20-5 overall record and 10-4 in the Big 12. Texas A&M, under the guidance of first-year coach Billy Gillespie, is 18-7 overall and 7-7 in conference play. The game will be televised by both ESPN2 and the Cowboy Television Network. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. (CST)

THE RANKINGS
The Cowboys are ranked eighth in both the Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 rankings that were released Monday. Texas A&M is not ranked but received three points in the Associated Press poll and would thus be ranked 35th in the nation. The Aggies received one vote in the Coaches Top 25 and would be ranked 38th. In the latest RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) that is used to help determine seedings for the NCAA Tournament, the Cowboys are ranked third and the Aggies are ranked 75th as of last Sunday.

THE SERIES
Oklahoma State leads the all-time series with A&M, 24-8, and the Cowboys have won the last 10 meetings, including last month's 66-59 victory in College Station. OSU is 16-1 since the Big 12 was formed in 1996-97. The only OSU loss was on Jan. 22, 2000, when the Aggies handed the Cowboys a 64-59 loss in College Station. The Cowboys' margin of victory has been nearly 21 points in games against the Aggies in Stillwater since the Big 12's formation.

ABOUT THE COWBOYS
Oklahoma State will be attempting to extend its nation-best homecourt winning streak to 29 games against Texas A&M. The Cowboys are a perfect 12-0 at home this season and their last loss inside Gallagher-Iba Arena was on Feb. 24, 2003 (to Texas Tech, 62-57). The Cowboys, second in the Big 12 behind first-place Kansas, can finish no worse than second if they defeat Texas A&M and Texas (Saturday night) in their final two regular season games. Seniors John Lucas (18.2 points) and Joey Graham (17.8) rank second and fourth, respectively, among the Big 12's scoring leaders. Graham leads the conference in free throw shooting (86.3 percent) and is second in field goal percentage (55.8 percent). Lucas leads the Big 12 in assist/turnover ratio (2.97), three-pointers made per game (3.08) and three-point percentage (43.5 percent), and is fifth in assists per game (4.64). Ivan McFarlin is fifth in the Big 12 in rebounding (7.4). McFarlin will move into a second-place tie with Byron Houston with his 124th career start against Texas A&M. McFarlin can pass Bryant "Big Country" Reeves (133) if the Cowboys get to the Big 12 Conference Tournament championship game and then reach the NCAA Tournament title game.

ABOUT THE AGGIES
Antoine Wright, who was just 4-of-16 shooting for 13 points in the Aggies' loss to the Cowboys on Feb. 12, has been on a tear during Texas A&M's current three-game winning streak (wins over Colorado, Iowa State and Texas Tech). The junior forward has averaged 27.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in those three victories. Wright is 28-of-41 from the field (68.3 percent), 12-of-19 from three-point range (63.1 percent) and 14-of-16 at the free-throw line (87.5 percent) the last three games. Center Joseph Jones has six double-doubles this season, the most in the Big 12 by a freshman, and is the top-ranked freshman center in the nation by CBS SportsLine.com, which ranks him fourth overall. A&M leads the Big 12 in scoring defense (allowing just 62.1 points per game) and is second in field goal percentage defense (38.7 percent), which ranks 11th in the nation. The Aggies held the Cowboys to 66 points (their lowest winning output this season) and OSU shot 47.2 percent from the field. The Aggies have already won 11 more games than last season (7-21), tying San Diego as the most improved team in the nation. Texas A&M is 2-5 in road games this season.

OKLAHOMA STATE STARTERS (stats)
F: 14 Joey Graham (6-7, 225, Sr., 17.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg)
F: 23 Ivan McFarlin (6-8, 240, Sr., 11.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg)
G: 15 John Lucas (5-11, 165, Sr., 18.2 ppg, 4.6 apg)
G: 20 Daniel Bobik (6-5, 210, Sr., 6.8 ppg, 3.3 apg)
G: 24 JamesOn Curry (6-3, 190, Fr., 8.3 ppg, 2.3 apg)
OKLAHOMA STATE TOP RESERVES (stats)
G: 21 Stephen Graham (6-6, 215, Sr., 7.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
F: 32 David Monds (6-8, 232, So., 1.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg)
F: 42 Terrence Crawford (6-6, 230, Sr., 4.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg)

TEXAS A&M STARTERS (stats)
C: 30 Joseph Jones (6-9, 260, Fr., 12.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg)
F: 10 Chris Walker (6-5, 215, Jr., 4.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
F: 21 Antoine Wright (6-7, 200, Jr., 17.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg)
G: 22 Dominique Kirk (6-3, 170, Fr., 7.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.3 apg)
G: 1 Acie Law (6-3, 180, So., 12.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 5.1 apg)
TEXAS A&M TOP RESERVES (stats)
G: 15 Bobby Leach (6-0, 185, Sr., 7.6 ppg, 3.1 apg)
F: 4 Edjuan Green (6-7, 230, Jr., 3.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
F: 42 Marlon Pompey (6-8, 225, So., 4.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg)

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