Home Hoops Finale Saturday vs. Texas A&M

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MARCH 02, 2012
  Senior forward C.J. Washington
 Oklahoma (14-15, 4-13) vs. Texas A&M (13-16, 4-13)
 Date & Tip Time  Saturday, March 3, at 3:01 p.m. CT
 Location  Norman, Okla. | Lloyd Noble Center | Seating Views
 Tickets  $10, $30 and $40; $5 for OU students
 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
 Sirius 92
 XM 194
 Webcast  WatchESPN.com
 Live Stats  SoonerSports.com GameTracker
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

Playing its regular season finale, Oklahoma (14-15, 4-13) hosts Texas A&M (13-16, 4-13) on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT in Norman.  The Sooners and Aggies are tied for eighth place in the Big 12 and will face each other next Wednesday in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.  OU, coming off a 72-64 loss at Texas on Wednesday in which it led the majority of the game, is 10-5 at home this season.  Texas A&M, which lost 76-70 at home to Kansas State on Tuesday, is 1-7 in true road games.

Saturday's contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa; Sirius 92; XM 194) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck announcing.  The game will be televised by the Big 12 Network (KOCB Ch. 34 in OKC; KTUL Ch. 8 in Tulsa; ESPN Full Court) with Mitch Holthus and Stephen Howard calling the action.

• Tickets are available for $10, $30 and $40 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office and online here.  Lloyd Noble Center's north and east ticket windows will open at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
• OU students may purchase a ticket for $5.

Oklahoma's three seniors -- T.J. Franklin, Barry Honoré and C.J. Washington -- will be honored during a pre-game on-court ceremony that will begin at 2:40 p.m.

Five Things to Watch vs. Texas A&M | Gameday Central | Tickets

• Oklahoma owns a 28-9 series advantage against Texas A&M and is 14-3 against the Aggies in Norman.  A&M has won the last two years in Norman.
• Texas A&M posted an 81-75 home overtime win against the Sooners on Jan. 21.  OU took a 39-38 lead with 17:26 left in the second half and didn't trail again until overtime, when it was outscored 16-10.
• A win Saturday would be OU's 15th this season, surpassing last year's total of 14.
• OU has made more field goals than its opponent in five of its Big 12 losses.  In those five losses, the Sooners have been outscored by 66 points from 3-point range and by 39 points at the free throw line.  Over the last five games (four losses), OU has made 11 more field goals than its foes.
• The junior trio of Steven Pledger (.500), Andrew Fitzgerald (.503) and Romero Osby (.526) is shooting a combined .508 from the field at Lloyd Noble Center.
• The Sooners have outscored their opponent in the second half in just two of 17 Big 12 games, and not since Jan. 17 against Texas Tech (span of 12 games).  OU has held a halftime lead in four of its conference defeats, including three of its last four losses (33-28 vs. Texas, 34-31 at Baylor, 37-33 at Texas).

• The preseason co-Big 12 favorite (with Kansas) according to the league's head coaches, Texas A&M enters Saturday's game with a 13-16 overall record and a 4-13 conference mark (tied with OU).  The Aggies have lost four in a row and eight of their last nine.  They are 1-7 in Big 12 road games, with the lone victory coming at Texas Tech on Feb. 14 (47-38).
• In league play, A&M ranks ninth in scoring offense (58.1 ppg), ninth in field goal percentage (.412), sixth in in 3-point field goal percentage (.338) and ninth in free throw percentage (.667).  On the other side of the floor, it ranks third and fourth in field goal (.436) and 3-point field goal (.336) percentage defense.
• Junior guard Elston Turner leads the team with his 14.1 scoring average (15.0 in conference play).  The transfer from Washington paces A&M with 65 3-pointers (next highest team total is 18) and is shooting .399 from behind the arc.  He scored 23 points against OU on Jan. 21 and is coming off a 22-point outing against Kansas State in which he went 8-for-9 from the field (4-for-4 from deep).
• Junior forward Khris Middleton, a second-team All-Big 12 pick last year, is averaging 12.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists an outing.  He missed seven games early this season after undergoing surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his right knee (sustained in the opener).  Middleton reinjured the knee against OU in College Station, causing him to miss the next five outings.
• Big men David Loubeau (senior) and Ray Turner (junior) average 10.8 and 9.0 points, respectively.  Turner also averages a team-high 5.4 boards per game and is shooting .578 from the floor.  Loubeau contributes 4.6 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 224-195 career record.

 Sooner to Watch 

 Romero Osby | Jr. | Forward
 • Was 8-for-10 from field and scored 18 points in first meeting against Texas A&M
 • Ranks third in Big 12 in rebounding (7.6) and offensive rebounding (2.7)
 • Has recorded seven double-doubles on the year to rank third in the conference
 • Has scored at least 14 points in nine of the last 15 games


Oklahoma owns a 28-9 series advantage against Texas A&M and is 14-3 against the Aggies in Norman.  Since the start of the Big 12 in 1996-97, OU is 23-9 against the Aggies (12-3 at Lloyd Noble Center).  Eight of the Aggies' nine wins in the series have come over the past six seasons (they have won eight of the last 11).  They have won each of the last two years in Norman (69-51 last season).

• Oklahoma trailed for just three minutes and 13 seconds of regulation but lost 81-75 in overtime at Texas A&M on Jan. 21.  OU took a 39-38 lead with 17:26 left in the second half and didn't trail again until overtime, when it was outscored 16-10.
• The Sooners shot .492 from the field against an A&M squad that was holding opponents to .351 shooting on the year entering the day.  It was OU's highest field goal percentage in defeat this year.
• A&M scored at least one point on its final 10 possessions of the game (21 total points), including each of its eight overtime possessions.
• Junior forward Romero Osby was 8-for-10 from the field and tied a then-career high with 18 points.  It was his third 18-point effort in the last four games and fourth in the last seven.
• Junior forward Andrew Fitzgerald scored in double figures for the 13th straight game, finishing with 17 points on 8-for-14 shooting.  He also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
• Junior guard Steven Pledger finished with 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals without a turnover in his 37 minutes.  He drained all four of the team's 3-pointers (each in the second half) on 10 attempts.

• 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 16.9 points this year while shooting .467 from the field and .424 from long distance.  Pledger ranks third in the Big 12 in 3-pointers per game (2.5), fifth in scoring, sixth in 3-point field goal and free throw (.837) percentage, and eighth in field goal percentage.
• The Dec. 19 and Jan. 30 Big 12 Player of the Week, Pledger has scored in double figures in 25 of his 28 outings.  He has scored at least 20 points eight times after doing it three times all of last year, and has netted at least 15 points on 10 other occasions.
• Pledger has already made 53 more field goals (165) in 28 games this year than he did in 32 games last season (112).  He has played 72 fewer minutes this season than last.
• Wednesday at Texas, Pledger became the 38th player in OU history to score 1,000 in a career and just the 28th to do it prior to their fourth playing year.  He already ranks sixth at OU in career 3-point makes with 176 (needs five to tie Cade Davis for fifth).

• Sophomore guard Cameron Clark has had his five best offensive performances in Big 12 play the last five games, registering efforts of 13, 16, 14, 12 and 12 points.  Clark, who had been held to single-digit scoring in nine of OU's first 12 league games, is averaging 13.4 points on 31-for-57 (.544) shooting during the five-game stretch.  He is also averaging 6.4 rebounds in those outings.  A starter in 58 of his 61 career games, Clark has as many field goals over the last five games as he had over his previous 14 contests.  He recorded the second double-double of his career Wednesday at Texas with 12 points and a career-high-tying 11 boards. 

• Junior point guard Sam Grooms leads the Big 12 and ranks in the top 10 nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.9), and ranks second in the league with his 6.0 assists per game (Missouri's Phil Pressey averages 6.1).  No other player in the Big 12 owns an assist-to-turnover ratio greater than 2.4.  Grooms has been on a tear of late, averaging 7.0 assists and just 1.9 turnovers (3.7 ratio) over the last 12 games.  He has recorded no more than three turnovers in any of those 12 outings.  Grooms, who has also scored in double figures three times over the last seven games (he was held to single digits in his previous 10 games), has registered two or fewer turnovers 19 times in 29 contests, including in 10 of the last 13 outings.  Only one Sooner in the last 15 years averaged more assists for an entire season than Grooms' current 6.0 average (6.9 by Terrell Everett in 2005-06).

• Junior forward Romero Osby ranks third in the Big 12 with his 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 offensive rebounds per game.  He also ranks third with seven double-doubles.  He has recorded at least 10 rebounds on nine occasions this year (his career high entering the season was eight rebounds).  Osby, who turned in a 16-point, 13-rebound effort against Oklahoma State in OU's last home game, is averaging 14.2 points over the last 15 games and has scored at least nine points in all 15 (including a career-high 19 points at No. 8 Kansas on Feb. 1).  His scoring surge can be partially attributed to his ability to get to the free throw line.  Osby has 79 free throw attempts over the last 15 games (5.3 average), twice as many as the next highest total on the team during the span (40 by Steven Pledger).

• Junior forward Andrew Fitzgerald has scored in double figures in 19 of the last 24 games but just once in the last five.  After averaging 14.7 points on .506 shooting over a 19-game stretch, he is averaging 7.0 points on .333 (14-for-42) shooting the last five outings.  With 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting at Texas on Wednesday, he broke a string of four straight single-digit scoring games.  Fitzgerald, who poured in a career-high 27 points Feb. 4 against Iowa State when he drained a career-high 11 field goals on 19 attempts, ranks third on the team in scoring (12.3 ppg) and second in rebounding (5.0 rpg).  He has the same number of offensive boards (73) as defensive.

• Oklahoma led 55-50 with 8:15 remaining but was outscored 22-9 down the stretch of a 72-64 loss at Texas on Wednesday.  The Longhorns went on a 10-2 run over the final 3:15.  OU led by as many as 12 in the first half (23-11) and eight in the second (45-37).
• Texas didn't take its first lead until Sheldon McClellan hit a 3-pointer with 6:15 remaining.  The Longhorns took the lead for the final time with 3:15 left.  McClellan, a freshman, finished with a career-high 24 points.
• The Sooners went 1-for-7 from the field and committed five turnovers over their final 10 possessions.  Texas hit eight of its last 12 shots (four of them 3-pointers).
• With 13 points, junior guard Steven Pledger became the 38th Sooner to score 1,000 points in a career.  Pledger was 3-for-4 from 3-point range but just 2-for-9 from inside the arc.
• Sophomore guard Cameron Clark scored in double figures for the fifth straight game. He finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, good for his second career double-double (first since the first game of his career).
• Junior forward Romero Osby scored a team-high 14 points and added five rebounds. He began the night 5-for-5 from the floor before missing his last seven attempts.  Fellow junior forward Andrew Fitzgerald was 5-for-9 from the field en route to 12 points.

OU faces Texas A&M again on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Kansas City's Sprint Center.



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