Monday , Feb , 27 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Big 12 rivals meet in Norman, as Oklahoma State takes on Oklahoma

(Sports Network) – Big 12 Conference rivals collide in Norman tonight, as
the 22nd- ranked Oklahoma Sooners host the Oklahoma State Cowboys. With
victories in two of its last three games, Oklahoma State has improved to
15-13 overall and 5-9 in league play. The Cowboys were in action on Saturday,
as they posted a 74-63 decision over Texas Tech to improve to 10-5 at home.
Unfortunately, they enter tonight’s clash with a 3-6 mark in true road

Oklahoma is alone in third place in the Big 12 standings, as it trails Texas
by two games and Kansas by one game. The Sooners have recorded three
straight one-point victories, and they are coming off a dramatic 71-70
decision over Kansas State. They have reason to be confident tonight, as they
are 13-1 at the Lloyd Noble Center this season. Oklahoma posted a 73-65
decision over Oklahoma State a few weeks ago, and the Sooners hold a 120-87
series lead over the Cowboys.

Strong defense was key to Oklahoma State’s victory over Texas Tech last time
out, as the Cowboys forced 17 turnovers and limited the Red Raiders to just
37.7 percent shooting from the floor. A 37-26 rebounding advantage also helped
the cause for OSU, which made good on 49.1 percent of its field goal attempts.
JamesOn Curry led the way for the Cowboys with 18 points, and Mario Boggan
pitched in with 17 points.

Overall this season, Boggan leads the team in scoring with 14.0 ppg on
57.5 percent shooting from the floor, and he is tops on the boards as well
with 5.8 rpg. Curry adds 13.8 ppg to the mix, and he has dished out 114
assists. The third and final double-digit scorer for Oklahoma State is Torre
Johnson with 10.7 ppg. The Cowboys are scoring 70.6 ppg while surrendering
65.5 ppg to opponents.

It should come as no surprise that Oklahoma and Kansas State were close in
many statistical categories in Saturday’s clash. The Sooners finished with
four fewer turnovers than their counterpart and as well as five more points
from the foul line, two obvious keys to victory. Taj Gray scored 23 points on
8-of-12 shooting from the floor for Oklahoma, which also got 15 points from
Michael Neal. Terrell Everett struggled with his shot en route to 12 points,
but he did dish out 10 assists.

Neal had led the Sooners in scoring in four straight games prior to
Saturday’s clash, and he is averaging 13.5 ppg on 43.8 percent accuracy from
three-point range. Gray leads the way with 14.4 ppg and 7.9 rpg, and he is
also tops with 37 blocks. As for Everett, he is contributing 12.6 ppg
to go along with 171 assists and 44 steals. Oklahoma is netting 69.7 ppg while
limiting opponents to 62.3 ppg.