Monday , Feb , 12 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

‘Horns host Pokes in pivotal Big 12 bout

Austin, TX (Sports Network) – Still in search of their first true road win of
the season, the 17th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys bring their act to Austin
for tonight’s Big 12 Conference clash with the Texas Longhorns.

In addition to OSU’s struggles away from home, the team has also had its
difficulties in league action, going 5-4 to this point. The Pokes took care
of Texas Tech in their most recent outing in a 93-91 double-overtime
decision, putting the brakes on a brief two-game slide. While Oklahoma State
is a game over .500 versus ranked opponents since the 2001-02 season
(22-21), it is just 1-11 against such foes on the road. The one win
ironically came at Texas on January 24, 2004 in a 72-67 final.

Speaking of the Longhorns, they got past Iowa State in their last outing,
77-68, also snapping a two-game slide and picking up their seventh
conference win in the process. Texas is a stellar 12-1 at home this season.
These two teams met in Stillwater back on January 16th and the Pokes stole a
105-103 triple-overtime victory in what was one of the more exciting games of
the season.

With that win, Oklahoma State knotted the all-time series with Texas at
34-34, and the Cowboys have won six of the last 10 meetings. The ‘Horns,
however, own an 18-12 lead in games played in Austin.

Oklahoma State boasts two of the Big 12’s top performers in senior forward
Mario Boggan and junior guard JamesOn Curry. Boggan, a three-time conference
Player of the Week honoree, is averaging 21.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
He is shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 77.3 percent from the foul line.
As for Curry, he is netting 18.4 ppg while also serving as the team’s primary
playmaker with 92 assists. He is a 41.6 percent shooter from long range,
helping the team as a whole hit 35.5 percent from beyond the arc. OSU is
putting up 80.3 ppg to rank among the league leaders in offensive production,
but the team is giving up more than 71 ppg. Boggan was once again the Cowboys’
top scorer in the recent overtime win over Texas Tech, pouring in 35 points and
grabbing 14 rebounds, while Curry and Terrel Harris tallied 16 points apiece.
The Pokes hit 48.5 percent of their field goal attempts, dropped nine treys and
got 27 points from the bench to earn the hard-fought victory.

While OSU has a pair of star players, Texas has arguably the best player in all
of college basketball in 6-9 freshman sensation Kevin Durant. A 48.5 percent
shooter who has also converted 80.5 percent of his free throws to this point,
Durant has the rare combination of deft scoring touch and almost supernatural
physical ability that allows him to be effective from almost anywhere on the
court. Durant is averaging 25.1 points and 11.4 caroms per contest, and he can
carry his team to victory on any given night. Texas isn’t totally devoid of
talent beyond Durant though, as A.J. Abrams and D.J. Augustin are both enjoying
solid seasons from their spots in the UT backcourt. The two are combining for
nearly 30 ppg, with Augustin acting as one of the top table-setters in the
nation with his 162 assists through 24 games. As a team, Texas is lighting up
the scoreboard to the tune of 83.5 ppg, doing so on the strength of 44.9
shooting overall and almost 40 percent from three-point range. Augustin was the
man for Texas in the win over Iowa State on Saturday, dropping in 31 points
while dishing out six assists. Durant shot 6-of-16 from the floor, missing all
three of his three-point tries, to finish with 17 points and Damion James added
10. A 17-10 edge in points from the charity stripe coupled with a 19 points
scored off 19 Cyclone turnovers played a pivotal role in the outcome.