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Must wins for OSU and OU hoopsters tonight

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Senior forward Jeffrey Carroll nailed two free throws to seal OSU’s victory over Oklahoma last Saturday.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma State and Oklahoma men’s basketball teams must put last weekend’s Bedlam matchup behind them. The Cowboys upset the Sooners, 83-81, in overtime last Saturday in Stillwater. The Pokes (13-6, 3-4 Big 12) must turn their attention to No. 14 Texas Tech (15-4, 4-3). The Red Raiders host OSU at 6 tonight, and the Red Raiders are undefeated at United Supermarkets Arena. The Cowboys are winless (0-3) in true road games.

The 14-4 Sooners are reeling from two straight losses last week. They also lost to Kansas State last Tuesday in Manhattan. Oklahoma dropped from fourth in the national rankings to 11th in the USA Today poll and 12th in the AP ranking. Now, OU hosts No. 5 Kansas (16-3. 6-1), winner of the last 13 straight conference regular season titles, at 6 tonight (ESPN).

Texas Tech stunned the Jayhawks, 85-73, three weeks ago in Lawrence. KU has won five straight since. The Sooners last beat the Hawks, 83-75, three years ago in Norman. Victories against Kansas don’t occur often. The Jayhawks own a 146-66 advantage over the Sooners, and 17 of the last 20 meetings.

The Pokes swept the Raiders last year, but Tech head coach Chris Beard has turned the team around from an 18-14 record a year ago. OSU guard Jeffrey Carroll leads the Cowboys in scoring (16.2 ppg) this year. He led the Pokes in both wins last year over the Raiders. He scored 25 in the first game and 17 in the second, and combined for 12 of 23 from the field (6 of 9 from downtown) and grabbed 15 rebounds.

Tech has three players (all guards) averaging double figures in scoring—Keenan Evans leads with 16.6 ppg and backups Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver come off the bench to average 10.5 and 10.2 ppg respectively. The Raiders also rank fourth nationally by allowing 61.6 points per game.

Carroll led the Pokes with 23 points and 13 rebounds in last weekend’s victory over the Sooners.

OSU took a 19-point (25-6) lead midway through the first half, but Oklahoma chipped away and tied the game at 53-53 with 8:23 remaining in the game. Both teams battled down the stretch.

OSU trailed 73-70, but Kendall Smith hit a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left in regulation to tie the game.

OU guard Trae Young struggled to get the ball up the court and missed a wild 3-point try, and the game went into OT.

Carroll’s two free throws put OSU up, 83-81, with 39 seconds to go in overtime. The Sooners missed their next four attempts including Young's long-distance trey at the buzzer. Both teams shot poorly—OSU hit 40.2 percent from the field and OU only 34.1 percent. The Pokes knocked down 30 percent from beyond the arc, and OU 28.6 percent.

Young had a career-high 48 points for Oklahoma but he hit just 36 percent from the field (14-39) and 40 percent (8 of 20) from downtown. The Sooners and their star both shot poorly in the 87-69 loss to Kansas State. Young was 8 of 21 from the field and 2 of 10 from beyond the arc. He still led the team with 20 points, but he had 12 turnovers in the game. The team shot 42 percent including 28 percent on 3-pointers.

OU must improve its shooting against the Jayhawks or risk getting blown out of the Lloyd Noble Center. KU’s three losses have been at home, and the Hawks are 7-0 away from Allen Fieldhouse. They don’t appear to be the power of the Big 12 as they have in the past, but they beat West Virginia on the road, a place where the Sooners also struggled.

Oklahoma plays better at home. The Sooners average 99 points, shoot 52.8 percent from the field and 45.4 percent from downtown. They average 84.5 points away from the LNC, hit 44.7 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Guard Devonte’ Graham lead KU with 18.1 points and 7.3 assists per game. Center Udoka Azubuike leads with 7.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

The Jayhawks are two games ahead of the Big 12 pack, and a win over the Sooners will make it difficult for the pack to catch them.

The Pokes need a win tonight for building on the confidence from last Saturday’s victory. The Sooners need a win for morale.

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About the Author

Ray Dozier

Ray Dozier is the author of Legends of Oklahoma Sooners Football and two editions of The...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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