Cowboys put perfect record on line versus Tennessee
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) – The 15th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys will
face a significant challenge tonight as they battle the Tennessee
Volunteers in Nashville.
Oklahoma State has started the season with 11 consecutive wins for just the
fifth time in school history. Seven of the 11 victories have come by double
figures, including a 75-56 thrashing of Ball State in the most recent outing
back on December 9th. The Cowboys have yet to play a true road game thus far,
and tonight’s clash counts as a neutral-site affair.
Tennessee had been idle for 10 days before Saturday’s clash with Western
Kentucky, and the team certainly looked fresh in the 93-79 win. The
Vols have now posted four consecutive victories to move to 8-2 overall,
and both of their losses came against quality teams on a neutral court.
Oklahoma State recorded an 89-73 decision over Tennessee last season in what
was the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Oklahoma State’s Mario Boggan has emerged as a star, as he is scoring 20.5 ppg
on 64.2 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 7.1 rpg. While he
garners much of the attention both from opponents and from the media, there are
other Cowboys putting up strong numbers. JamesOn Curry is netting 17.7 ppg to
go along with 5.0 apg, and he is the top offensive option among the guards. Obi
Muonelo is a tremendous freshman who supplies 11.1 ppg off the bench, and
Terrel Harris is contributing 10.6 ppg. Oklahoma State is racking up 81.1 ppg
on 50.7 percent shooting, outstanding numbers by any standards. In the 19-point
victory over Ball State nine days ago, Boggan scored 24 points on 10-of-14
shooting from the floor. Curry pitched in 13 points, while Harris and David
Monds contributed 10 points apiece. The Cowboys forced 17 turnovers in the
clash and limited Ball State to 37.5 percent overall shooting.
Tennessee is led by one of the nation’s premier guards, Chris Lofton, who has
transformed himself from a three-point specialist into a tremendous all-around
threat. He has scored 30 or more points four times this season, including three
times in the last four outings. Lofton is averaging 21.5 ppg on the strength of
his 50 percent shooting from behind the arc, and JuJuan Smith is the only other
double-digit scorer in the lineup with 13.7 ppg. Tennessee is posting 81.3 ppg
while allowing 68.8 ppg to the opposition. Against Western Kentucky two days
ago, Lofton exploded for 32 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field. Smith
pitched in 21 points, and Ramar Smith tallied 15 points off the bench. The Vols
connected on 57.4 percent of their field goal attempts, helping them overcome a
38-27 rebounding disadvantage.