Season's third meeting between the Sooners and Mountaineers marks WVU's first Big 12 game in Norman.
||Senior Forward Andrew Fitzgerald
Oklahoma (19-9, 10-6) plays its final home game of the season when
it hosts West Virginia (13-16, 6-10) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT in Norman. Winners
of five of their last seven, the fourth-place Sooners are coming off an 86-69
victory over Iowa State and are 7-1 in Big 12 home games. West Virginia fell
91-68 at Kansas on Saturday, its fourth straight loss. The seventh-place Mountaineers
are 5-5 in conference road games.
ON THE AIR
Wednesday's contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma
City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Sirius 136) with Toby Rowland and Mike
Houck announcing. The game will be televised by ESPN2 with Bob Wischusen
and Stephen Bardo calling the action.
Tickets are available for $10, $30 and $40 at the OU Athletics Ticket Office
(800-456-4668) and online here.
Lloyd Noble Center's north and east ticket windows will open at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
OU students may purchase a ticket for $10.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
Oklahoma has already beaten West Virginia twice this season. The
Sooners posted a 77-70 win on Nov. 25 in the third-place game of the Old Spice
Classic in Orlando, Fla., and won 67-57 on Jan. 5 in Morgantown in WVU's first
ever Big 12 game. OU is 3-1 all-time against West Virginia and is 3-0 in the
series with Bob Huggins as the Mountaineers' head coach. Wednesday's meeting
will be the first between the programs in Norman.
Wednesday's game will mark the first time in Big 12 history that two member
teams will face each other for the third time in one regular season.
Oklahoma tied an NCAA record on Saturday for most free throw attempts without
a miss by going 34-for-34 against Iowa State. The Sooners lead the Big 12 and
rank 11th nationally with their .760 season free throw mark (school record is
.767 in 2001-02) and are shooting a league-best .779 in Big 12 play. In Big
12 home games, OU is shooting a gaudy .868 from the foul line. Over the last
two home games (vs. Baylor and ISU), the Sooners are 73-for-79 (.924) at the
The Sooners have scored at least 72 points in each of their last seven games
and have registered at least 86 in each of their last four. They are averaging
82.0 points over the last seven games after averaging 62.5 over the six games
immediately prior to the stretch. Over the last four outings, OU is averaging
Senior forward Romero Osby has led the team (or tied for the lead)
in scoring in 11 of its 16 Big 12 games and has scored in double figures in
all but one. In Big 12 play, he ranks third in the league in scoring (17.2 ppg),
fifth in rebounding (7.6 rpg), third in field goal percentage (.531) and fifth
in free throw percentage (.776). Over the last five games, he is averaging 21.8
points and 9.2 rebounds while shooting .576 from the field.
| Sooner to Watch
Romero Osby | Sr. | Forward
Scored a team-high 21 points with nine
rebounds on Jan. 5 at West Virginia
Was a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line and had
22 points Saturday vs. Iowa State
Has led the team (or tied for the lead) in scoring
in 11 of its 16 Big 12 games
Ranks third in Big 12 play in scoring (17.2 ppg) and
fifth in rebounding (7.6 rpg)
PREVIEWING WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia enters Wednesday's game with a 13-16 overall record and a 6-10
conference mark (seventh place). The Mountaineers, who have lost their last
four games and five of the last six, are coming off a 91-65 loss at Kansas on
Saturday. They are 3-5 in Big 12 road games, with wins over Texas (57-53 in
overtime), Texas Tech (77-61) and TCU (63-50).
In Big 12 play, WVU ranks eighth in scoring (63.1 ppg), eighth in field goal
percentage (.404), sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (.338) and seventh
in free throw percentage (.675). On the other end of the floor, it ranks fifth
in scoring defense (66.1 ppg), eighth in field goal percentage defense (.448)
and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.351).
Freshman guard Eron Harris leads the team with his 9.4 points in 20.8
minutes per game. He has made 37 3-pointers and is shooting .352 from behind
the arc and .756 from the free throw line. Harris has scored in double figures
in 11 of the last 14 games and scored a career-high 25 points against Baylor
two games ago.
Big men Deniz Kilicli and Aaric Murray rank second and third
on the squad in scoring with their 8.7 and 8.6 points per game, respectively.
Kilicli, a senior, is shooting .468 from the field and contributes 4.4 rebounds
a game. Murray, a junior, is shooting .477 from the field and pulls down a team-high
6.0 rebounds a contest.
The Mountaineers are under the direction of sixth-year head coach Bob Huggins,
who owns a 133-72 record at West Virginia. The 1977 WVU graduate is in his 31st
season overall and owns a 723-283 career mark.
OU-WEST VIRGINIA SERIES HISTORY
Oklahoma owns a 3-1 all-time series lead against West Virginia, with two of
those wins coming this season (77-70 on Nov. 25 in Orlando, Fla., and 67-57
Jan. 5 in Morgantown). The Sooners also posted an 88-82 double-overtime win
in Charleston, W. Va., in the 2007-08 season. The Mountaineers' lone win in
the series was a 92-68 triumph in Oklahoma City in the 2005-06 campaign.
EARLIER THIS YEAR vs. THE MOUNTAINEERS
The first of three meetings this year between the teams, Oklahoma beat West
Virginia 77-70 in the third-place game of the Old Spice Classic on Nov. 25 in
Orlando, Fla. Amath M'Baye scored a then-season-high 19 points on 5-for-6
field goal and 9-for-13 free throw shooting, and added a team-high-tying 6 rebounds
for OU. Je'lon Hornbeak was 5-for-9 from the field and 2-for-3 from 3-point
range en route to a career-high 14-point effort. OU shot .474 from the field
while holding WVU to a .362 mark. Juwan Staten led the Mountaineers with
15 points while Gary Browne (10-for-11 free throws) and Deniz Kilicli
added 13 each.
In Morgantown on Jan. 5, OU spoiled West Virginia's inaugural Big 12 game by
outscoring the Mountaineers 36-14 over the final 17:30. OU closed the game on
a 16-2 run over the last 5:25 (trailed 55-51). The Sooners shot .443 for the
game while holding West Virginia to a .300 mark. They shot .452 after halftime
to the Mountaineers' .241 (7-for-29). In the first half, WVU went 9-for-19 from
3-point range (27 points) and 2-for-12 from 2-point range (four points). It
cooled off in the second half from long distance, going 2-for-11. The Mountaineers
finished with 11 treys while going just 7-for-30 (.233) from 2-point range.
Senior forward Romero Osby finished with team highs of 21 points and
nine rebounds, while Steven Pledger added 12 points and hit a pair of
key 3-pointers late. West Virginia's Terry Henderson was 6-for-11 from
3-point range and scored a team-high 21 points.
OU TEAM UPDATE
As of Monday, Oklahoma is ranked 22nd out of 347 Division I teams in the CBSSports.com
RPI (third best in Big 12 behind No. 4 Kansas and No. 18 Kansas State), with
a strength of schedule ranked No. 6 (best in Big 12). OU was projected on Monday
by USA Today as a No. 7 NCAA Tournament seed.
The Sooners haven't trailed at home in almost a month. The last time they
were behind at Lloyd Noble Center was four games ago (Feb. 9) vs. Kansas (14-13
with 14:27 left in first half). They never trailed against TCU, Baylor or Iowa
State. OU has been ahead or tied for each of the last 154 minutes and 26 seconds
Oklahoma has won five of its last seven games, with both of its defeats during
the stretch coming in overtime on the road (Oklahoma State and Texas) after
not trailing in the second half of either. Over the last six outings, the Sooners
are shooting .487 from the field and .419 from 3-point range while holding opponents
to .409 and .341 marks.
OU has shot better from the field than its opponent in 13 of 16 conference
outings, including each of the last seven. The Sooners are shooting .455 in
Big 12 play (rank second) while holding foes to a combined .412 mark (rank fourth
in field goal percentage defense).
Oklahoma shot .437 from the field over its first 10 conference games but is
shooting .487 over the last six contests.
OU leads the Big 12 with its .760 season free throw percentage and owns a
league-best .779 mark in conference play. The Sooners own four of the Big 12's
top five free throw performances of the year (1.000 [34-for-34] vs. Iowa State,
1.000 [14-for-14] vs. TCU, .947 vs. Texas A&M and .938 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus
Christi). They are shooting .836 from the charity stripe over the last seven
In its eight Big 12 home games, OU is shooting .868 from the free throw line
and outscoring its opponents by 10.3 points a game there. In eight Big 12 road
games, OU is shooting .655 and is being outscored by an average of 4.5 points
at the stripe.
In Big 12 play, opponents have made 117 3-pointers to the Sooners' 80. That's
a difference of 111 points, or 9.6 per game. In eight conference road games,
opponents have made 65 treys to OU's 41 (a difference of 9.0 points per game).
The Sooners have played 15 games away from home and just 13 in Norman. The
13 home games are tied for the fewest among the 75 teams in the six "power"
conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC).
OU's 10 conference wins are as many as it compiled over the two previous seasons
combined (won five each of the last two years).
Five of OU's nine losses have come to teams ranked in the top 13 of this week's
AP poll (Gonzaga, Kansas, Kansas State [twice] and Oklahoma State own a combined
average record of 25-4). Three of the other four losses came by one point (Stephen
F. Austin), three points (at Arkansas) or in overtime (at Texas). Stephen F.
Austin is 24-3 and leads the nation in scoring defense.
Oklahoma is 8-5 this year in games decided by seven points or fewer. Last
year the Sooners finished 4-5 under the circumstance.
The Sooners have already won two more games away from home this year (8-6
record) than they did over the last two seasons combined (6-25 record). Their
eight wins away from home rank second in the league (Kansas has won nine). OU
is 5-6 in true road games this season after going 1-9 each of the last two years.
Oklahoma's bench has outscored opponent reserves by 110 points this season.
The OU bench has outscored its counterpart in eight of the last 10 games and
in 11 of 16 conference outings. Three starters from last year (Cameron Clark,
Andrew Fitzgerald and Sam Grooms) have come off the bench in all
but five of their combined 83 games this season.
The Sooners close the regular season with a road game against TCU on Saturday
at 4 p.m. It will be televised by FS Southwest.