OU vs. Texas A&M in Big 12-SEC Challenge

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 19, 2013
 Oklahoma (10-1) vs. Texas A&M (8-2)
 Date & Tip Time  Saturday, Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. CT
 Location  Houston, Texas | Toyota Center
 Radio  Sooner Radio Network 
 KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City
 KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa
 Webcast  WatchESPN
 Live Stats  GameTracker 
 Game Info  Game Notes (PDF)

Oklahoma (10-1) takes its six-game winning streak to Houston, Texas, on Saturday where it will meet former Big 12 rival Texas A&M (8-2) at 6 p.m. CT at the Toyota Center, home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.  The Dickie’s Shootout contest (OU vs. A&M will follow Houston vs. Rice) will also serve as the final matchup in the 2013 Big 12-SEC Challenge.  The Sooners, who rank eighth nationally with their 88.4 scoring average, are coming off a narrow 91-89 win over UT Arlington on Tuesday.  The Aggies have won two straight and haven’t played since Saturday’s 83-70 win over McNeese State.

Saturday’s contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM "The Franchise" in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck calling the action.  The game will be televised by ESPNU with Brett Dolan and Reid Gettys announcing.

Complete Release (PDF) | Schedule | Media Guide | Tickets

• Oklahoma owns a 30-10 series advantage against Texas A&M, but the Aggies have won nine of the last 14 matchups.  Last year, in A&M’s first season as a member of the SEC, the Sooners posted a 64-54 win in the All-College Classic in Oklahoma City (Dec. 15).  With the scored tied at 41, OU finished the game on a 23-13 run over the last 11:41.  The Sooners forced 19 turnovers and were led by Romero Osby (19 points) and Cameron Clark (season-high 17).  The game was Clark’s first of the year at the power forward spot.  (The box score is on page 21 of these notes.)

• OU freshman Jordan Woodard is the reigning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week and Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week.  The point guard established career highs of 24 points and eight assists in Saturday’s 101-91 win over Tulsa.  He scored 17 points at the free throw line on a school-record-tying 22 attempts.  In Tuesday’s 91-89 win over UT Arlington, Woodard had seven points and shattered his assist mark by handing out 12 against only one turnover.  Woodard’s shooting percentages and scoring numbers are up significantly over the last three weeks.  In OU’s first five games, he averaged 8.6 points on .182 (2-for-11) 3-point shooting.  In six games since, he is averaging 13.8 points on .583 (7-for-12) 3-point shooting.

• Senior forward Cameron Clark leads the Big 12 in scoring (18.9 ppg) while sophomore guard Buddy Hield ranks fifth in the league (17.3 ppg).  Clark has paced OU in the points department in six of the last nine games, and has scored at least 15 points in seven of the last eight (averaging 21.1 points and 6.9 rebounds in those eight outings).  Included was a career-high 32-point night against top-ranked Michigan State in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic championship game and a 31-point effort Tuesday against UT Arlington in which he made a career-high five 3-pointers.  Hield, who has scored at least 12 points in all 11 outings, paces the squad with his 21 3-pointers.  He is averaging 21.0 points on 7-for-10 3-point shooting over the last two games.

• OU opened eyes in August when it averaged 90.6 points a contest during its five-game exhibition tour of Belgium and France (it averaged 70.6 last season).  Since returning to the U.S., the Sooners have continued to put up points.  Lon Kruger’s team is averaging 88.4 points through 11 regular season games to rank eighth nationally (it has scored at least 40 points in 19 of its 22 halves).  The last time OU averaged more than 80.0 points per game for an entire season was in 1994-95 (81.7 ppg in Kelvin Sampson’s first year as head coach).

• Saturday’s game will mark the final one in the 2013 Big 12-SEC Challenge.  The Big 12 Conference leads this year’s series by a 6-3 count.  Big 12 wins include Iowa State over Auburn (99-70), Texas over Vanderbilt (70-64), TCU over Mississippi State (71-61), Kansas State over Ole Miss (61-58), Oklahoma State over South Carolina (79-52) and Baylor over Kentucky (67-62).  SEC wins include Alabama over Texas Tech (76-64), Missouri over West Virginia (80-71) and Florida over Kansas (67-61).

• Former Big 12 member Texas A&M enters Saturday’s game with an 8-2 record.  The Aggies have won two in a row after losing on back-to-back nights in the Corpus Christi Challenge (73-67 to Missouri State and 55-52 to SMU on Nov. 29 and 30).  They rebounded with home wins over Houston (74-57) and McNeese State (73-60) to improve to 8-0 in College Station.  A&M is averaging 74.9 points and is shooting .496 from the field, .341 from 3-point range (5.6 makes a game) and .690 from the free throw line.  It is outrebounding opponents by 3.5 per contest and is holding them to .370 field goal and .308 3-point (6.1 makes an outing) percentages.

• The Aggies boast a balanced scoring attack with nine players averaging between 5.9 and 13.4 points a contest.  Junior forward Kourtney Roberson leads the team with his 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game (in just 22.0 minutes an outing), and paces the SEC with his .684 field goal percentage.  Junior guard Jamal Jones is averaging 10.1 points and 3.5 boards a game and paces the team with 21 3-point makes (next highest total is eight).  He is shooting .412 from behind the arc and two games ago against Houston scored 21 points on 7-for-10 3-point shooting.  Sophomore guard Alex Caruso contributes 9.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and team highs of 4.6 assists (leads SEC) and 2.3 steals per game in an average of 25.8 minutes.

• Billy Kennedy is in his third year as Texas A&M’s head coach and sports a 40-35 record there.  He came to A&M from Murray State and owns a 251-214 career mark.  Last year he guided the Aggies to an 18-15 record and a 7-11 mark in the SEC.

• Sophomore combo guard Je’lon Hornbeak is expected to miss four to six weeks after breaking a bone in his left foot Dec. 10 in practice.  Hornbeak is averaging 5.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 21.0 minutes per game off the bench.

• Oklahoma’s 10-1 start is its second best in the last 11 years.  The 2008-09 Sooners began the season 25-1.

• The Sooners have surpassed 100 points twice this year.  The last time OU had multiple 100-point games in a season was during the 2004-05 campaign (also twice).  Entering this year, OU had reached 100 points in a game one time in the previous eight seasons.

• OU has scored at least 40 points in 19 of 22 halves this season.  Last year, the Sooners scored 40 in a half 17 times all season.

• The Sooners rank second in the Big 12 in scoring offense (88.1) and steals (7.7 spg), and third in assists (15.8 apg), 3-point field goal percentage (.381), 3-pointers per game (7.7) and turnover margin (+2.6 per game).

• OU has used the same starting lineup in all 11 games and each starter is averaging double figures in scoring.  The starters have accounted for 78 percent of the team’s points on the year.

• As a junior last year, Cameron Clark attempted one 3-point field goal (he made it).  This season, Clark is 17-for-33 from behind the arc and ranks second in the Big 12 with his .515 percentage.

• Oklahoma players have recorded seven double-digit rebounding totals this season through 11 games, the same number they had all of last season in 32 contests.  Romero Osby paced the Sooners with three games of 10 or more boards last year. Sophomore forward Ryan Spangler already has five such games this season.

• After averaging 2.7 points on .279 field goal and .250 3-point shooting as a freshman last season, guard Isaiah Cousins is averaging 10.9 points this year and owns respective .465 and .458 shooting marks.  Cousins had never scored more than 10 points in a game prior to Nov. 22 but has netted at least 10 in six of the last eight contests.  He scored a career-high 19 points against Seton Hall on Nov. 22 (7-for-8 field goal shooting), followed with 15 against Michigan State the next night and scored another 15 Saturday against Tulsa.

• Four Sooners have already registered more double-digit scoring games through 11 contests this season than they did in 32 outings last season.  Hield has done it in all 11 games this year (seven last year), Clark has done it 10 times (six last year), Cousins six times (twice last season) and Tyler Neal three times (none last year).  OU has had five double-digit scorers in five of their 11 games this season after they accomplished the feat three times all of last year.

• Oklahoma’s only loss came to then-No. 1 Michigan State in the Nov. 23 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic title game, a contest in which OU outscored the Spartans 65-47 over 28 of the game’s 40 minutes.  But because MSU went on a 40-11 run over the last 10 minutes of the first half and first two of the second, it registered the 87-76 win.  The Sooners trailed by just four with three minutes to go. 

OU returns home for its final pre-conference game when its hosts Louisiana Tech on Monday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. CT.



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