|Sam Grooms ranks second in the Big 12 in assists (5.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7).|
|Oklahoma (10-4, 0-2) vs. No. Oklahoma State (8-7, 1-1)|
|Date & Tip Time||Monday, Jan. 9, at 6:05 p.m. CT|
|Location||Stillwater, Okla. | Gallagher-Iba Arena|
|Tickets||OU Athletics Ticket Office|
|Radio|| Sooner Radio Network
KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City
KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa
|Live Stats||SoonerSports.com GameTracker|
|Game Info||Game Notes (PDF)|
MONDAY'S GAME BASICS
Oklahoma (10-4, 0-2) looks to snap its first losing streak of the season when it plays at Oklahoma State (8-7, 1-1) Monday at 6 p.m. CT. The Sooners have lost two in a row to start Big 12 Conference play, including a 72-61 home defeat at the hands of No. 14 Kansas on Saturday. The Cowboys have lost five of their last seven games and are coming off a 58-49 setback at Texas Saturday. Monday’s contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC AM 1520 in Oklahoma City; KTBZ AM 1430 in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck announcing. The game will be televised by ESPNU with Dave Flemming and Sean Farnham calling the action.
• After a 9-1 start, Oklahoma has lost three of its last four games. The Sooners averaged 78.7 points over their first 10 outings, but have been held to an average of 62.0 over the last four.
• OU holds a 127-93 all-time series lead against Oklahoma State and has won three of the last six meetings played in Stillwater.
• Oklahoma held non-conference foes to a .395 field goal mark. In two Big 12 games, Missouri (.593) and Kansas (.500) combined to shoot .545 against OU. Those two teams, who are a combined 26-4 on the year, outscored the Sooners 84-26 in the paint.
• OU has been held to three 3-point makes in each of the last three games and junior guard Steven Pledger has eight of the nine conversions during the stretch. The Sooners averaged 6.7 treys over their first 11 games.
• The Sooners are 3-3 away from home this year. Pledger (.493) is the only team member shooting above .440 from the field in those games. The rest of the team is shooting a combined .394 away from Lloyd Noble Center.
• Out of 338 Division I teams, OU ranks No. 12 nationally in offensive rebounds per game (15.4), No. 13 in total rebounds per game (40.2), No. 18 in 3-point field goal percentage (.399), No. 37 in free throw percentage (.738) and No. 64 in scoring (73.9 ppg).
• The Sooners have scored at least 75 points eight times in their 14 games (57 percent) after doing it seven times in its 32 contests last year (22 percent).
• Oklahoma has been good at the free throw line in two league games with its .789 mark (30-for-38), and has 10 more attempts than its opponents. Cameron Clark (9-for-9), Carl Blair (8-for-8) and Pledger (6-for-6) are a combined 23-for-23 at the stripe.
PREVIEWING OKLAHOMA STATE
• After a 6-2 start, Oklahoma State has lost five of its last seven games and enter Monday’s contest with an 8-7 record. The Cowboys are 6-1 at home, with their only loss coming to Virginia Tech (67-61) on Dec. 31. They are coming off a 58-49 defeat at Texas on Saturday in which they held the Longhorns to .300 field goal and .167 (3-for-18) 3-point shooting but committed 21 turnovers (to Texas’ 10) and were whistled for a season-high 29 fouls (to UT’s 17). The Cowboys beat Texas Tech Wednesday in their Big 12 opener, 67-59.
• OSU, which starts three freshmen, a first-year junior college transfer and a senior, is shooting .410 from the field on the season (ranks 10th in Big 12), .332 from 3-point range (ranks eighth) and .700 from the free throw line (ranks sixth). It ranks fourth in the league in 3-pointers per game (6.4) and last in average rebounding margin (-2.1).
• Senior guard Keiton Page averages a team-high 14.1 points per game and is shooting a team-best .374 from 3-point range (team-high 37 makes). He registered three straight 20-point games (averaged 23.7 ppg) before being held to nine points Saturday at Texas. The 5-9, 165-pounder ranks 19th in school history with 1,302 points and third with 233 3-pointers (school record is 279).
• Freshman forward Le’Bryan Nash ranks second on the team in scoring (12.3 ppg) and third in rebounding (4.9 rpg). He scored 21 points in OSU’s Big 12-opening win over Texas Tech and followed with 12 Saturday at Texas. Nash leads the team with his 5.1 free throw attempts per game (shooting .688).
• Junior guard Jéan-Paul Olukemi, who averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, sustained a season-ending knee injury on Dec. 31 against Virginia Tech.
• Travis Ford is in his fourth year as Oklahoma State’s head coach and owns a 73-44 record. He’s in his 14th year overall.
BEDLAM SERIES HISTORY
Oklahoma owns a 127-93 series advantage against Oklahoma State but is 40-62 against the Cowboys in Stillwater. OU has won seven of the last 11 overall meetings and nine of the last 14. At Gallagher-Iba Arena, the Sooners have won three of the last six meetings. OU is 17-16 against the Cowboys since the start of the Big 12 in 1996-97 (5-10 in Stillwater).
LAST YEAR VS. THE COWBOYS
OU and OSU split last year’s season series, with each team winning at home. In the first meeting, the Sooners held a 21-6 lead and were up 47-39 early in the second half but couldn’t overcome the Cowboys’ 36-for-44 free throw performance and fell 81-75 on Feb. 5 in Stillwater. Andrew Fitzgerald and Cade Davis led OU with 18 points each. Carl Blair hit all nine of his free throw attempts and finished with 13 points, but registered six turnovers without an assist. Cameron Clark was held scoreless on 0-for-3 shooting.
In the March 5 rematch in Norman, Davis scored a game-high 22 points in his final career home game to help OU to a 64-61 win. Clark added 15 points and Steven Pledger 11. The Sooners held OSU to 3-for-25 (.120) 3-point shooting over the two-game series.
PLEDGER AMONG BIG 12’S OFFENSIVE LEADERS
• 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 17.8 points this year and is shooting .517 from the field and .468 from long distance (ranks 16th nationally; single-season school record is .473 by Tim Heskett in 1998-99). Pledger ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring and 3-point field goal percentage, fourth in 3-pointers per game (2.8) and fifth in field goal percentage and free throw percentage (.870).
• To help put Pledger’s .517 field goal performance into perspective, the only OU guard since the start of the 3-point era in 1986-87 (25 years ago) to shoot at least .500 from the field over the course of an entire season was Nolan Johnson in 1999-00. Johnson shot .559 that year but only attempted two 3-point field goals and made none. Pledger has attempted 77 treys (made 36).
• Pledger has scored in double figures in each of his 13 outings and has shot at least .500 from the field in eight games. He has scored at least 20 points five times after doing it three times all of last season.
• Pledger has made 78 field goals this year, already putting him at 70 percent of last year’s total (112).
MORE INDIVIDUAL NOTES
• Junior guard Sam Grooms has been strong at the point, ranking No. 2 in the Big 12 in assists (5.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7). He has recorded one or zero turnovers six times in 14 games and ranks second on the team in minutes (29.1). Over the last six outings, Grooms has 39 assists (6.5 average) and 12 turnovers (3.3 ratio). Only one Sooner in the last 15 years averaged more assists per game for an entire season than Grooms’ current 5.5 average (6.9 by Terrell Everett in 2005-06).
• Junior forward Romero Osby ranks second in the Big 12 with his 3.0 offensive rebounds per game and third with his 8.4 overall boards per outing. He has recorded at least 10 rebounds on six occasions this year (his career high entering the season was eight). He pulled down a career-high 18 boards vs. South Carolina State on Dec. 21 and followed with 12 at Cincinnati Dec. 29.
• Junior forward Andrew Fitzgerald has scored in double figures in each of the last nine games (averaging 14.9 during stretch on .500 shooting) after doing it just twice in OU’s first five outings (averaged 8.4 points on .400 shooting). He has scored at least 13 points in seven of the last nine games, including season highs of 18 points in two of the last four.
• Sophomore guard Cameron Clark has been held under 10 points in six of the last seven games (each of the last five) and is averaging 6.1 points on .319 field goal shooting in those seven outings. Clark scored in double figures in five straight games prior to the current seven-game stretch and averaged 14.0 points on .519 shooting.
• Head coach Lon Kruger is just 11 victories shy of 500 for his career. He ranks second among current Big 12 head coaches with 489 career wins (Texas’ Rick Barnes has 535 victories).
CLEANING THE GLASS
• OU leads the Big 12 in offensive rebounds per game at 15.4 (ranks No. 12 nationally) and offensive rebounding percentage (42 percent). It ranks second in the league in average rebounding margin (+7.9) and total rebounds per game (40.2; ranks No. 13 nationally).
• The Sooners have been outrebounded just twice on the season (by Washington State and Missouri).
• Oklahoma’s top two rebounding totals of the 16-year Big 12 era have been recorded this year (63 vs. S.C. State and 61 vs. Coppin State).
• OU has pulled down double-digit offensive rebounds in 12 of 14 games and is averaging 15.4 offensive boards per contest to its opponents’ 11.5.
• The Sooners are averaging 6.9 more offensive rebounds per game this year than last (15.4 to 8.5).
SOONER TIP INS
• After going a combined 4-28 away from home the last two years (2-18 in true road games and 2-10 at neutral sites), Oklahoma is 3-3 away from home so far this season. One of the defeats came by one point (at Cincinnati).
• While head coach at Kansas State from 1987-90, Lon Kruger compiled a 6-3 record against Oklahoma State. OU assistant coach Steve Henson played in all nine of those contests.
• Oklahoma has recorded 41 dunks in its 14 games (2.9 average) and junior forward Romero Osby has 22 of them (54 percent).
• Osby has grabbed at least six rebounds in 11 of 14 games this year. In his 35 games at Mississippi State as a sophomore in 2009-10, Osby pulled down at least six boards on three occasions.
• Osby and fellow junior Andrew Fitzgerald lead the team with five charges taken each.
• Last year, Steven Pledger averaged 15.4 points in OU’s wins and 7.4 points in its losses. This year, the junior guard is averaging 20.6 points in wins and 11.8 in defeats. He is shooting .606 from the field this year in victories and .319 in losses.
• OU averaged 7.1 3-point makes over its first eight games. It is averaging 4.3 makes over the last six outings.
The Sooners return home Saturday to host No. 23/22 Kansas State at 12:30 p.m. CT (televised by the Big 12 Network).