MEN'S BB: Oklahoma-Arkansas Preview

Oklahoma will attempt to put last week's loss to Stephen F. Austin behind it Saturday when it hosts Arkansas at 2 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center. Arkansas enters with an 8-1 record and lead the overall series with the Sooners, but Oklahoma has won four straight against the Razorbacks.

With fall semester finals and a nasty winter storm behind them, the Oklahoma Sooners would like to make one more catastrophe a distant memory – last week's loss to Stephen F. Austin.

That opportunity comes Saturday when Oklahoma plays host to Arkansas at 2 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center. It's the first of tough three-game stretch that also includes Gonzaga and West Virgnia.

Oklahoma was coming off two of its best shooting performances of the season in wins over TCU and Tulsa, but shot just .400 (including .269 in the first half) in a 66-62 loss to the Lumberjacks.

A microcosm of the three-game stretch was sophomore guard Tony Crocker, who scored 46 points and was 9-of-11 from 3-point range in the two wins. Against SFA, Crocker scored just four points and missed all four of his field goal attempts.

But Crocker wasn't alone. Oklahoma was just 2-of-14 from 3-point range for the game and didn't make a trey until 6:31 of the second half.

Arkansas enters Norman with an 8-1 record. The Razorbacks are coming off Wednesday's 67-42 win over Texas-San Antonio. They're only loss was a 67-51 setback to Providence in the second round of the ESPNU Puerto Rico Tipoff.

Arkansas has a balanced scoring attack that's led by sophomore guard Patrick Beverly, last year's SEC Newcomer of the Year. Beverly averages 12.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists an outing.

Darian Townes, a senior forward, contributes 11.4 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds to go along with 2.2 blocked shots an outing while coming off the bench. Guards Gary Ervin and Sonny Weems average 10.7 and 9.4 points, respectively. Forward Charles Thomas chips in with 8.8 points.

The Razorbacks are in their first year under head coach John Pelphrey, who starred at Kentucky from 1989-92. He spent the last five seasons at South Alabama compiling an 80-67 record while taking the Jaguars to the 2006 NCAA Tournament and 2007 NIT.

Arkansas leads the overall series with Oklahoma, 12-9, but the Sooners have won four straight. Oklahoma is 5-3 against Arkansas in Norman.

The last time the two met in Norman, in the 2000-01 season, the 18th-ranked Sooners pulled off one of the best comebacks in school history against the 25th-ranked Razorbacks. The Sooners rallied from nine points down with less than two minutes remaining in regulation to beat Arkansas 88-79 in overtime.

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