Sooners face road block at Iowa State

If No. 13 Oklahoma (16-2, 5-0) is going to push their winning streak to 11 games and extend their Big 12 record to 6-0 for the first time ever, they're going have to go through a pesky Iowa State team Saturday in Ames. Under Head Coach Wayne Morgan, the Cyclones are 25-3 in at the Hilton Coliseum. Junior forward Kevin Bookout (pictured above) is averaging 19.8 points per game in OU's first five Big 12 games. (AP Photot/Sue Ogrocki)

The Matchup
The Sooners (16-2, 5-0) come into Saturday's matchup with the Cyclones on a 10-game winning streak and tied for first place in the Big 12 Conference with Kansas. The Cyclones (8-8, 0-5) on the other hand, come into the game on a six-game losing streak. With their 16 wins, OU is off to their best start since the 1988-89 season, and their best start in conference play since the Big 12 was formed in 1996.

The Rankings
Oklahoma is ranked 13th in the Associated Press Poll and 15th in the Coaches Poll. Iowa State is unranked in both polls. In the RPI, the Sooners check in at No. 10, while the Cylcones are 162nd.

The Series
The Sooners have won the last three meetings and lead the all-time series by a 104-75 mark. OU is 35-43 against the Cyclones in Ames. Under Head Coach Kelvin Sampson, the Sooners are 8-5 overall against Iowa State and 3-3 at the Hilton Coliseum.

About the Cyclones
Iowa State opened the season 3-0 before dropping a shocker to Northern Iowa on Dec. 1. But the Cyclones rebounded quickly, knocking off ACC power Virginia, 81-79, five days later. That high didn't last long as they lost to in-state rival Iowa four days later in Iowa City. The Cyclones then reeled off four straight wins before beginning their current six-game losing streak with a loss to Xavier. Since that loss, Iowa State has lost at Missouri, Kansas at home, at Oklahoma State, Colorado at home and at Kansas State.

On the surface it looks like Iowa State should be an easy win for the Sooners on Saturday, but think again. Of their five conference losses, the Cyclones were only beaten by double digits in two games and lost the other three by a combined 10 points.

However, despite their worst conference start since the 1993-94 season, ISU has a trio of talented players. ISU's strength is their backcourt, where they are led by sophomores Curtis Stinson (6-3, 215) and Will Blalock (6-0, 190).

Stinson is the fifth-leading scoring in the Big 12 leads the Cyclones in scoring (16.9), steals (2.4) and assists (4.4). Blalock is third on the team in scoring (13.1) and assists (4.3).

Inside, Iowa State's go-to guy is senior Jared Homan (6-10, 250). Homan is second on the team in scoring (13.9) and second in the Big 12 in rebounding (8.3) He is also the Cyclones all-time blocsk leader (202 over his career).

Nevertheless, despite the Cyclones' recent struggles a win Saturday won't come easy for the Sooners in Ames, where the Cyclones are 25-3 under head coach Wayne Morgan.

Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. The game will be regionally televised on ESPN Plus and will be on KOCB in Oklahoma City. Fred White and Reid Gettys will call the action.

The Starters
OKLAHOMA (16-2, 5-0)
F--21--Taj Gray (6-9, 235, Jr., 14.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.7 apg)
F--34--Kevin Bookout (6-8, 259, Jr., 14.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.6 apg)
G--2--Jaison Williams (6-3, 181, Sr., 8.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.8 apg)
G--3--Drew Lavender (5-7, 153, So., 9.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.8 apg)
G--20--Terrell Everett (6-4, 185, Jr., 11.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.1 apg)

IOWA STATE (8-8, 0-5)
F--13--Rahshon Clark (6-6, 190, Fr., 4.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.8 apg)
F--22--Damion Staple (6-7, 240, Sr., 4.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.7 apg)
C--51--Jared Homan (6-10, 250, Sr., 13.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.1 apg)
G--1--Curtis Stinson (6-3, 215, So., 16.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.4 apg)
G--11--Will Blalock (6-0, 190, So., 13.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.3 apg)

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