Iowa State basketball comes limping into Big 12 play with a tough loss to South Carolina just three days prior. A quick turnaround will be aided by returning to the friendly confines of Ames where they haven’t lost yet this season.
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. (9)Iowa State Cyclones
James H. Hilton Coliseum | Ames, Iowa
Tuesday, January 6th, 2014 | Tipoff – 8:00 PM CT
TV: ESPN2 | Stream: WatchESPN
Similar to the Cyclones (10-2), Oklahoma State has also played the Gamecocks. However, the Cowboys (11-2, 1-0) struggled mightily in that game. Believe it or not, they were even worse on offense shooting just 24.6 percent from the field (5-for-24 from downtown). They had a similar assist-turnover ratio as ISU (seven assists, 12 turnovers).
Thankfully South Carolina is past both of them, and they can focus on getting a successful early start in conference play. This is Iowa State’s season opener while Okie State opened up with a win over Kansas State.
It’s close, but Iowa State has a slight 56-63 losing edge to Oklahoma State and are 4-6 against current head coach Travis Ford. However, the Cyclones dominated the Cowboys in Ames with a 36-14 record.
What to watch for
Phil Forte has been the leader for Oklahoma State this season. He’s a scoring machine reaching double-digits in 21 of his last 23 games, and he didn’t make it just once this season. He’s scored 20 or more points in the last two games against Missouri and Kansas State, and is .500 from downtown (made 6-of-12 3-pointers).
For Iowa State, they drastically need to improve in the assist-turnover ratio column from their last time out. The Cowboys have done a great job in holding their recent opponents to a negative number, and the Cyclones had an uncharacteristic reverse margin against South Carolina. Iowa State is generally one of the best teams in the category as they have a +1.64 margin, good for third-best nationally.
Oklahoma State doesn’t move the ball well on offense, but still are able to put up a modest 72.7 points per game. Their defense has also aided at holding teams down in points (58.3 per game) and assists (10 per game).
When Iowa State doesn’t play like they did on Saturday and put on a show we’re used to seeing, the Cowboys haven’t played a team like them yet this season. Those defensive averages shouldn’t hold up when the Cyclones return home. Georges Niang and Bryce Dejean-Jones get back on track offensively and ISU restores order before a really tough game at West Virginia on Saturday.
Iowa State 76, Oklahoma State 67
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