Norman, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Hoping to keep their perfect record intact, the ninth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys hit the road to challenge the Oklahoma Sooners in Big 12 Conference action on Saturday.
Iowa State is one of only five undefeated teams left at the Division I level, as the team has set a new program record for consecutive wins as it is 14-0 coming into this contest. The Cyclones have won their first two conference bouts, taking out both Texas Tech (73-62) on the road, and Baylor at home (87-72). A win today would give ISU only its second 3-0 start to Big 12 play ever (1999-2000).
Oklahoma began the season at 11-1, but has split its first two league games by winning at Texas (88-85), and losing at home to Kansas (90-83). The Sooners are the only team in the Big 12 to use the same starting lineup in every game here in 2013-14, and their recent setback to the Jayhawks dropped their record at home to 7-2. Following this clash, OU will only play one of its next four games in Norman.
Oklahoma owns a 111-81 advantage over Iowa State in the all-time series, but the Cyclones won two of the three meetings last season, including a 73-66 decision in the 2013 Big 12 Tournament.
DeAndre Kane put forth a monster effort in Iowa State's recent win over Baylor, scoring 30 points, handing out nine assists and grabbing eight rebounds. Melvin Ejim tallied 18 points and Monte' Norris had 13 off the bench for the Cyclones, who shot 54.8 percent from the field while controlling the paint to the tune of a 47-26 scoring edge. ISU blanked BU in fast-break points, 15-0, while taking advantage of 19 turnovers committed by the Bears.
Ejim (17.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg) is the team's leading scorer on the season, but Kane has really come on of late, and is now netting 16.1 ppg while serving as the Big 12's top distributor with 6.3 apg. Georges Niang (15.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and Dustin Hogue (12.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg) round out the double-digit scorers for an Iowa State squad that is putting up 87.0 pp while permitting only 67.5 ppg.
Oklahoma is every bit as potent an offensive team as its counterpart today, netting 87.0 ppg, which has it and the Cyclones tied for sixth-best nationally. All five starters are averaging double figures, led by Cameron Clark and his 18.7 ppg. Clark is also one of the team's top rebounders, coming up with 6.0 rpg, trailing only Ryan Spangler (10.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg) in that department. Buddy Hield adds 16.4 ppg, while Jordan Woodward checks in with 12.1 ppg and serves as the unit's primary playmaker with 4.6 apg.
In Wednesday's clash with Kansas, Clark matched his career high with 32 points, but both times he's scored that many now the Sooners have lost. Hield hit for 18, while Tyler Neal and Woodward chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively for an Oklahoma squad that made good on 45.3 percent of its total shots, and went 29-of-36 at the free-throw line. Poor defense has been an issue of late, as Oklahoma has surrendered 102, 85 and 90 points in its last three games -- two of which have resulted in defeat. The Jayhawks shot 54.7 percent from the field, draining 8-of-16 3-point attempts along the way, and they claimed a substantial 36-22 rebounding advantage.