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Feb 4, 2013; Ames IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones player Bubu Palo (1) drives past Oklahoma Sooners player Tyler Neal (15) in the second half at Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State beat Oklahoma 83-64. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State Men's Basketball: Oklahoma Sooners Preview

Feb 4, 2013; Ames IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones player Korie Lucious (13) is defended by Oklahoma Sooners player Isaiah Cousins (11) in the second half at Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State beat Oklahoma 83-64. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State Cyclones at Oklahoma Sooners

Lloyd Noble Center | Norman, Oklahoma
Time – 12:45 PM CT | TV – Big 12 Network (affiliate list)

After much controversy in another disappointing loss to the 2012-13 men’s basketball season, it’s time to turn the page with three games left. Don’t let the emotion carry over and make the situation worse with two straight losses. The home winning streak may be over and becoming Big 12 regular season champions is unrealistic. Making a strong case to the NCAA tournament committee isn’t.

The Cyclones come into the contest against the Oklahoma Sooners at 19-9  overall with a 9-6 in the Big 12. They are 3-7 on the road overall this season. Iowa State won the previous three meetings after losing five straight against Oklahoma. The Sooners are favored by 4.5 points according to the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

Feb 4, 2013; Ames IA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners player Casey Aren (32) pulls down a rebound against the Iowa State Cyclones in the second half at Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State beat Oklahoma 83-64. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma Quick Facts

  • 18-9 overall and 9-6 in the Big 12, tied for fourth with the Cyclones. ISU would have the tiebreaker with sweeps against Oklahoma and Baylor if they win today.
  • The lead the conference in free throw percentage with 74.4 percent made.
  • Oklahoma has two losses at home: Kansas State when they were ranked 18th and Stephen F. Austin. It’s worse than it sounds as the Lumberjacks have only three losses on the season and was part of ESPN’s Bracketbuster weekend.
  • Sam Grooms (senior guard) has started just three games this season (including the last two) after starting every game last year. That other start he had was against ISU on February 4th; only played 15 minutes with 1-3 from the field and scoring just two points.

Last meeting: Cyclones blew away Sooners 83-64

It was a clinic from 3-point land for Iowa State, scoring 7-10 from the perimeter out of the gate and building a lead early. They finished 40.7 percent behind the arc. Chris Babb led the team with four 3-pointers and Will Clyburn led scoring with 19 points.

Oklahoma had a balanced scoring effort but no starter had more than eight points with three players from the bench outscoring them. Steven Pledger and Romero Osby combined for 11 points and 4-19 from the field.

Players to Watch

  • Melvin Ejim (ISU): He was the weakest link in the game against Kansas on Monday, not coming close to a double-double after knocking down four of them in the previous six games. Leading the Big 12 in rebounding, he’ll need to have a big day on the boards against the Oklahoma bigs. They were outrebounded by the Sooners 42-33 in the last meeting, Ejim led the team with seven of them.
  • Romero Osby (OU): Six points and rebounds were well under his averages in the previous meeting. Osby is fourth in the conference in scoring (15 pts/gm) and seventh in rebounding (7 reb/gm). His efficiency is much better than what was displayed at Hilton Coliseum; he has a 52.1 shooting percentage which is fourth in the conference.

TV Information

The game will be broadcast on Big 12 Network for regional syndication. Check the affiliate list to find out what channel it will be on. Locally the game will be on WOI-TV, our ABC affiliate in Des Moines. Nationally the game can be found on Altitude Sports and online on ESPN3. Dave Armstrong and Bryndon Manzer will have the call. Pregame coverage will begin at 12:30 pm CT.

Prediction

Again, Iowa State can’t let the previous loss be a distraction for them in this game. Oklahoma still wants to beef up their tournament resume and are also coming off of a bad loss giving up a 22-point lead against Texas on Wednesday. Their size matches up well and they will likely have the rebounding edge again.

The Cyclones may want to put Anthony Booker in the game early after the effort he showed against Kansas, and Percy Gibson. They both had three blocks coming off the bench in limited play against the Sooners last time.

As long as the team doesn’t get into foul trouble and send the Sooners to the line and doesn’t let Oklahoma have a ton of second chance opportunities, they should be able to pull out a much-needed win. Don’t expect the 3-point barrage and holding both Steven Pledger and Romero Osby down to the level they were at in Hilton Coliseum.

Cyclones 74, Sooners 73

Brian Spaen is the lead editor of Clones Confidential. Get more Cyclones coverage by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

Tags: Basketball Iowa State Cyclones Melvin Ejim Oklahoma Sooners Romero Osby

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