OSU hopes to take Tigers by the tale

Oklahoma State hosts Mizzou in a Top 25 battle. Official university release.

Oklahoma State Cowboys
(13-1, 2-0 Big 12) hosts
the Missouri Tigers (10-2, 1-0)
in a battle of Top 25 teams
Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 * 12:45 p.m. (CST)
Gallagher-Iba Arena [13,611] * Stillwater, Okla.

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Oklahoma State Cowboys
Probable Starters (based on last game)

       Name                    Ht.      Wt.      Yr.      PPG       RPG
F  23  Ivan McFarlin           6-8      237      Jr.     12.5       8.0
F  40  Andre Williams          6-8      225      Sr.      4.4       5.5
G   5  Victor Williams         5-10     187      Sr.     12.7       3.4 ^
G  24  Tony Allen              6-4      205      Jr.     16.6       5.3
G  34  Melvin Sanders          6-5      210      Sr.     13.0       4.0

Off the Bench

       Name                    Ht.      Wt.      Yr.      PPG       RPG
C   4  Frans Steyn             7-2      306      So.      0.7       1.1
G  25  Janavor Weatherspoon    6-1      165      Jr.      4.6       1.4
G  30  Cheyne Gadson           6-3      190      Sr.      5.5       3.6 ^
F  33  Jason Miller            6-9      245      Jr.      3.2       3.5

Missouri Tigers
Probable Starters (based on last game)

       Name                    Ht.      Wt.      Yr.      PPG       RPG
F   5  Travon Bryant           6-9      236      Jr.      7.9       6.6
C  50  Arthur Johnson          6-9      265      Jr.     16.8       9.6
G   0  Ricky Clemons           5-11     172      Jr.     17.2       5.7 ^
G   1  Jimmy McKinney          6-3      200      Fr.      9.5       3.1 ^
G  23  Rickey Paulding         6-5      212      Jr.     17.7       5.2

^ denotes assists per game

Oklahoma State hosts the Missouri Tigers on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 12:45 p.m. inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. The 24th-ranked Cowboys are 13-1 overall and 2-0 in Big 12 Conference action after a 48-46 win over the Oklahoma Sooners Monday night. The 11th-ranked Tigers are 10-2 overall, 1-0 in league play and coming off a 76-69 loss at Syracuse Monday night in non-conference action.

On Television
Saturday afternoon's game between OSU and Mizzou will be broadcast by ESPN Regional, part of the Big 12 Conference package. Reid Gettys will handle the play-by-play duties, while Fred White will provide color analysis.

Last Time Out For OSU
Senior guard Victor Williams hit a bank shot with 3.6 remaining on the clock, and OSU held on for a 48-46 win over the fifth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners Monday night before a packed crowd in Gallagher-Iba Arena. It was the lowest score for a Cowboy win since OSU defeated Houston Baptist, 44-43, on Dec. 1, 1984. Williams and junior Ivan McFarlin combined to score 23 of the Cowboys' 27 second-half points. Williams finished with 16, while McFarlin had 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. There were nine lead changes and five ties in the game that pitted two of the league's top defenses. The OSU duo of Melvin Sanders and Tony Allen limited the Sooners' top-two scorers, Hollis Price and Ebi Ere (averaging 18.5 and 18.4 points per contest, respectively, heading into the game) to just six each.

About Missouri
The Tigers are 10-2 overall and 1-0 in league play this season. They are led by junior guard Rickey Paulding, who is averaging 17.7 points per game, while juco transfer Ricky Clemons is chipping in 17.2 points and 5.7 assists per contest. Mizzou's only losses this season have come at the hands of Illinois and Syracuse. As a team, the Tigers are shooting 47.5 percent from the floor and 40.5 percent from three-point range. MU is outscoring its opponents by an average of 14.2 points per game, and outrebounding its opponents, by an average of 6.3 boards per contest.

Last Time Out for Mizzou
Ricky Clemons scored a game-high 26 points and Arthur Johnson recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, but the Tigers could not come away with the victory, falling to the Syracuse Orangemen, 76-69, Monday night in New York. Mizzou shot just 38.3 percent from the floor and committed 20 turnovers in the game. MU's Rickey Paulding scored 11 points, although he made just 3-of-12 shots from the floor and was 0-of-5 from long range.

Series With Missouri: Tigers lead, 68-36
Missouri leads the all-time series with Oklahoma State, 68-36, although the Cowboys have the edge in Stillwater, sporting a 25-19 mark. The Tigers won last year's meeting, a 72-69 decision in Columbia, but OSU won the last meeting in Stillwater and has won five of the last seven games in the series. A complete look at the game-by-game series can be found on page 4-59 of the Oklahoma State Cowboy Basketball Media Guide.

Sutton Coaches in 400th Game at OSU
Oklahoma State Coach Eddie Sutton coached in his 400th game at OSU Monday night, when the Cowboys defeated the Oklahoma Sooners, 48-46, in Gallagher-Iba Arena. He's already coached in more games for OSU than the 10 previous coaches combined, and ranks second only to Mr. Iba, who coached in 971 career games at OSU over a span of 36 years. Sutton is 285-115 in his 13 years at OSU.

Up Next: the Baylor Bears
Oklahoma State will travel to Waco, Texas, next week for the Cowboys' second conference road game of the season as OSU faces the Baylor Bears on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Tip time is set for 7 p.m., not the 8 p.m. that was originally scheduled. BU is 9-3 overall this season, but 0-1 in league play.

Vic Williams Comes Up Big
Victor Williams was the Cowboys' leading scorer a year ago, and the senior guard has come up big for the Cowboys this season, but none bigger than the Bedlam game Monday night. With the score tied and the shot clock winding down, Williams drove towards the basket and pulled up for what turned out to be the game-winning jumper. Williams has been solid this season, averaging 12.7 points and 3.4 assists per game. He also leads the team with his 76.5 percent shooting from the line. Vic has a 1.41 assists-to-turnovers ratio, and has 33 steals, leading the league. He also likes the friendly confines of Gallagher-Iba Arena, leading the team in scoring in home games at 14.9 points per contest, and shooting 49.4 percent from the floor, including 43.8 percent from three-point range.

Allen Living up to Expectations
Junior transfer Tony Allen is doing it all for Oklahoma State. The 6-4 guard leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.6 points per game this season, and is an all-around player for the Cowboys. He has reached 20 points in three of the last four games, including a career-high 29 vs. Texas A&M. Over the last seven games, Allen has connected on 47-of-84 shots from the floor, or 56 percent, and averaged 18.4 points in those seven. He has made at least one three pointer in 11 of OSU's 14 games, and is shooting 52.6 percent (20-of-38) from beyond the arc. Tony is second in the league in three-point shooting by percentage. He had a career-high nine rebounds vs. Texas A&M in College Station, and had career bests in assists (7) and steals (5) vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Chicago native is averaging 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.1 steals per contest. Defensively, Tony is joining Melvin Sanders as one of the top stoppers on the squad. He limited A&M freshman phenom Antoine Wright to just 15 points on 14 shot attempts, and held OU's Ebi Ere to six points, 12 below his average, on 2-of-10 shooting. Tony was the Big 12 Rookie of the Week last week.

McFarlin a Warrior
Ivan McFarlin is the prototypical Coach Sutton player, a "warrior". I-Mac is the toughest player on the team, and certainly one of the hardest workers in the league. He scored a career-high 24 points vs. UMKC and, three games later, broke that with a 27-point performance. In the UMKC game, McFarlin also had 14 rebounds, recording the eighth double-double of his career. Ivan is second in the conference with a 63.4 shooting percentage from the floor. He is averaging 12.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest, including 45 on the offensive glass.

Stifling Defense
Eddie Sutton has always preached solid defense, and while OSU's offense has struggled at times this season, the defense has been outstanding. Through 14 games, OSU is allowing just 59.1 points per game (second-best in the Big 12) and has not given up more than 69 points but once this season. OSU is allowing its opponents to shoot just 36.8 percent from the floor, best in the conference. On the defensive glass, OSU is outrebounding its opponents by an average of 10.6 boards per game. OSU is also averaging 9.93 steals per game (third-best in Big 12 behind Texas Tech and Kansas) and 5.93 blocks per contest (second-best in league behind ISU's 6.46 bpg).

Cowboys Host Block Parties
On two occasions this season, Oklahoma State has blocked 13 shots in a single game, the third-best mark in school history. OSU had 13 deflections vs. Hartford, and did the same at Wichita State. In three games at the Great Alaska Shootout, OSU had 18 blocked shots. This season, OSU has 83 blocked shots as a team, an average of 5.93 per game and the second-most in the Big 12 Conference behind Iowa State, which is averaging 6.46 blocks per contest.

What a Bunch of Thieves
Oklahoma State has 139 steals this season, led by Victor Williams' 33. Tony Allen has 29, while Melvin Sanders has 27. Those three Cowboys rank first, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Big 12 in steals per game. As a team, OSU is third in the league, averaging 9.93 thefts per contest. Kansas leads the Big 12 at 10.93 spg, while Texas Tech is second, averaging 10.92 per contest.

Williams Ranks Among Elite Shot Blockers
With four blocked shots vs. Oklahoma on Monday, senior forward Andre Williams surpassed Leroy Combs and moved into fourth place on the school career blocked shots list. He leads the team with 41 deflections so far this season, and next on the list is Bryant Reeves, who had 194 blocked shots in his OSU career. Andre had a career-high eight deflections vs. Wichita State, and has had at least four blocks in four games this season. The only game this year in which he failed to block a shot was vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He is currently averaging 2.93 blocks per game this season, and is second in the league behind Colorado's David Harrison (3.07 blocks per game).

Vic Moving up the Scoring Chart
With 16 points vs. Oklahoma, senior Victor Williams now has 942 points in his OSU career. In that game, he surpassed Clayton Carter on the OSU career scoring list, and now sits in 30th place on that list. Vic needs just five points to move into 27th place, and 26 points to move past Maurice Baker, who ended his career last season with 967. Victor has 1,187 points in his career at the Division I level, including 245 his freshman season at Illinois State. Victor also leads the league in steals, averaging 2.36 per game.

Williams Ranks in Top 15
Victor Williams has 284 assists in his two-plus year career at Oklahoma State. That ranks him 13th among all-time OSU career assist leaders. With five assists vs. Yale in the season opener, Williams surpassed Randy Rutherford, who had 239 dishes from 1993-95. Vic is eight assists away from moving past current OSU Associate Head Coach Sean Sutton, who had 291 assists in his two-year career with Oklahoma State. Vic has 387 career assists, including a game-high nine vs. Texas A&M on Feb. 21, 2001, and a season-high 126 last season. He had a season-high eight dishes vs. Texas A&M.

Sanders Has String of Starts
Cowboy senior Melvin Sanders has started every game of his Cowboy career, and has moved into fifth-place on the consecutive starts list. Sanders needs 11 more starts to tie Bryant Reeves, who started 87 consecutive contests from 1993-95, and 12 starts to tie Darwyn Alexander. Fourteen starts would move Melvin into second-place on the consecutive-starts list.

Sutton Approaches 1,000th Game in Career
Oklahoma State Coach Eddie Sutton has coached in 994 career Division I games, the fourth most by an active coach. He is just six games away from his 1,000th game, and will coach that game on Feb. 5, 2003, against the Kansas State Wildcats in Gallagher-Iba Arena. There are 16 coaches in NCAA history that have achieved that mark, including Sutton's mentor, Henry Iba, who coached in 1,105 games.

National Rankings
Oklahoma State is ranked nationally in a couple of statistical categories. As a team, the Cowboys are ranked second nationally in won-loss record at 13-1. The Cowboys are ranked seventh in field-goal percentage defense at 36.8 as of Monday, Jan. 13. Oklahoma State's scoring defense of 59.1 points per game ranks 12th nationally. OSU ranks 28th in steals per game (9.9) and 11th in blocks per contest (5.9)Individually, senior forward Andre Williams ranks 11th in blocked shots per game, averaging 2.9 blocks per contest.

Miscellaneous Notes
OSU had seven players score in double figures vs. Alaska-Anchorage, the first time for that to happen in the Eddie Sutton era at OSU ... junior guard Tony Allen is the only player to have double-digit scoring in 13-of-14 games this season ... the Cowboys have shot better from the charity stripe away from Gallagher-Iba Arena (78.8 percent) than at home (58.8 percent) ... Oklahoma State has 48 dunks this season, led by Melvin Sanders' 12 ... OSU has taken nine charges in 14 games, with Ivan McFarlin leading the pack with three ... Oklahoma State has won 14-straight home games, dating back to last season, the 12th-longest streak in the nation ... OSU current winning streak of 11 games ties for the longest nationally with top-ranked Duke and Syracuse.

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