OU Goes to A&M in Search of Third Straight Win

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
JANUARY 19, 2012

  Romero Osby is averaging 17.0 points over the last three games.
 Oklahoma (12-5, 2-3) at Texas A&M (10-7, 1-4)
 Date & Tip Time  Saturday, Jan. 21, at 3:01 p.m. CT
 Location  College Station, Texas | Reed Arena
 Tickets  OU Athletics Ticket Office

 Big 12 Network
KOCB Ch. 34 in Oklahoma City
 KTUL Ch. 8 in Tulsa
 ESPN Full Court

 Radio  Sooner Radio Network 
 KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa
 Webcast  watchespn.com
 Live Stats  AggieAthletics.com
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

Oklahoma (12-5 overall, 2-3 Big 12) tries for win No. 3 in a row when it plays at Texas A&M (10-7, 1-4) Saturday at 3 p.m. CT. The Sooners, coming off nine-point home victories over Kansas State (82-73) and Texas Tech (64-55), are in a four-way tie for fifth place in the Big 12. Texas A&M, the preseason co-favorite in the Big 12 coaches poll, has lost six of its last eight games following an 8-1 start. The Aggies are in ninth place.

Saturday’s contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa; Sirius 137) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck announcing. The game will be televised regionally by the Big 12 Network (KOCB Ch. 34 in OKC; KTUL Ch. 8 in Tulsa; ESPN Full Court) with Mitch Holthus and Reid Gettys calling the action. Click here for a full listing of Big 12 Network stations for Saturday's game. The game can also be viewed on the Internet at www.watchespn.com.

• Oklahoma holds a 28-8 all-time series lead against Texas A&M and is 11-5 versus the Aggies in College Station. A&M has won seven of the last 10 overall meetings, however, including four of the last five at Reed Arena.

• After allowing Missouri and Kansas to shoot a combined .545 from the field to start Big 12 play, OU has held Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas Tech to a combined .371 mark the last three games. Each shot below .400.

• Oklahoma has been superb at the free throw line in Big 12 play with its .782 mark (ranks second). Steven Pledger (18-for-18), Cameron Clark (15-for-17) and Carl Blair (16-for-19) are a combined 49-for-54 (.907) at the stripe. They each rank in the league’s top 10.

• The Sooners are looking for their first true road win of the season. They are 1-18 in Big 12 road play dating back to the end of the 2008-09 season (lone win during stretch came at Iowa State last year in overtime).

• OU has been held to a total of 18 3-point makes over the last six games (3.0 average) and Pledger has 12 of the conversions during the stretch. The Sooners averaged 6.7 treys over their first 11 games.

• In Big 12 play, Oklahoma leads the league with its +3.0 average turnover margin. OU averages 12.0 turnovers while opponents average +15.0. The Sooners have outscored league foes 93-71 off turnovers.

 Sooner to Watch 

 Steven Pledger | Jr. | Guard
 • Has led Sooners in scoring in nine of his 16 games (seven of last 11)
 • Ranks fourth in Big 12 in scoring (17.3) and 3-pointers per game (2.5)
 • Ranks 16th nationally with his .897 free throw percentage (18-for-18 in Big 12 play)
 • Has five 20+ scoring games this year after recording three all of last season


• After averaging 8.6 points and shooting .386 from the field and .345 from 3-point range over his first two seasons, junior guard Steven Pledger is averaging 17.3 points this year while shooting .484 from the field and .440 from long distance. Pledger ranks fourth in the Big 12 in scoring, free throw percentage (.897; 16th nationally) and 3-pointers per game (2.5), and fifth in field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage. He has scored in double figures in 15 of his 16 outings (held to nine Jan. 9 at Oklahoma State) and has shot at least .500 from the field in eight games.

•Junior forward Andrew Fitzgerald has scored in double figures in each of the last 12 games (averaging 15.0 during the stretch on .517 shooting) after doing it just twice in OU’s first five outings (averaged 8.4 points on .400 shooting). He has scored at least 18 points in three of the last seven outings, including a season-high 21 last Saturday against Kansas State when he made a career-high nine field goals on 10 attempts. Fitzgerald leads the team and ranks ninth in the Big 12 with his 15.0 scoring average in league play. He also ranks fourth in the Big 12 (all games) with his .492 field goal percentage.

Junior point guard Sam Grooms ranks No. 4 in the Big 12 in assists (5.3) and No. 2 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5). He has recorded one or zero turnovers seven times in 17 games and ranks second on the team in minutes (29.5). Only one Sooner in the last 15 years averaged more assists per game for an entire season than Grooms’ current 5.3 average (6.9 by Terrell Everett in 2005-06).

Junior forward Romero Osby leads the Big 12 with his 3.1 offensive rebounds per game and ranks third with his 8.3 overall boards per outing. He is also tied for second with five double-doubles. He has recorded at least 10 rebounds on seven occasions this year (his career high entering the season was eight rebounds). Osby, who pulled down a career-high 18 boards vs. South Carolina State on Dec. 21, is averaging 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds over the last three games (shooting .563 from the field during the stretch). He has scored a career-high 18 points in three of the last six outings.

Gameday Central | Tuesday's OU vs. Texas Tech Recap | Vote Kruger in Coaches Charity Challenge

Junior guard Carl Blair has scored 36 of his 76 points this season (47 percent) over the last four games. He averaged 3.1 points over OU’s first 13 games but is averaging 9.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals over the last four. Blair ranks second in the Big 12 (league games) with his 2.4 steals per contest. He has started the last two games (lone starts since season opener) after recording personal OU career highs of 20 points, 10 rebounds and five steals off the bench at Oklahoma State Jan. 9.

Sophomore guard Cameron Clark, who was held under 10 points in six straight games (averaged 5.5 points on .367 shooting) prior to the last two contests, came off the bench for the first time of his collegiate career against Kansas State last Saturday and scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. He scored another 10 points off the bench in Tuesday’s win over Texas Tech. Clark is averaging 8.4 points this year after averaging 9.3 points as a freshman.

• The preseason co-Big 12 favorite (with Kansas) according to the league’s head coaches, Texas A&M enters Saturday’s game with a 10-7 overall record and a 1-4 conference mark (ninth place). The Aggies have lost six of their last eight games but are 9-2 at home. Their home losses came to Rice (65-58) on Dec. 2 and Iowa State (74-50) on Jan. 7.

• In league play, A&M ranks last in scoring offense (54.2 ppg), ninth in field goal percentage (.357) and ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (.283). On the other side of the floor, however, it ranks third in both field goal (.411) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.314).

• Junior forward Khris Middleton and junior guard Elston Turner lead the team with their 13.2 scoring averages. Middleton, a second-team All-Big 12 pick last year, missed seven games early this season after undergoing surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his right knee (sustained in the opener). He also averages 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in his 27.5 minutes a game. Over the last three games, Middleton is averaging 14.7 points and 7.0 boards. Turner is a transfer from the University of Washington who leads the Aggies with his 35 3-pointers (2.1 per game) and .393 mark from long range. He has scored in double figures in 14 of 17 games.

• Big men Ray Turner (junior) and David Loubeau (senior) average 10.6 and 10.2 points, respectively. Turner also averages a team-high 6.5 boards per game and is shooting .583 from the floor. Loubeau contributes 4.4 rebounds a contest.

Billy Kennedy is in his first year as Texas A&M’s head coach. He came to A&M from Murray State and owns a 221-186 career record.

The Sooners return home to face No. 3 Baylor on Tuesday at 7 p.m. CT (televised by the Big 12 Network).



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