Iowa State (17-6, 7-3 Big 12) AT Oklahoma State (11-12, 4-6, Big 12)
Time/TV: 7 p.m. (6 p.m. CST)/ESPN2
Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.
Iowa State 35 (No. 4 Big 12)
Oklahoma State 113 (No. 8 Big 12)
Line: Oklahoma State -1 (O/U 139)
Iowa State Players to Watch: F Royce White, 6-8 So. (13.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 4.6 apg); G Chris Allen, 6-3 Sr. (11.8 ppg, 2.4 apg, 36.4% 3s); G Scott Christopherson, 6-3 Sr. (11 ppg, 2.1 apg, 42% 3s). White was uncharacteristically quiet in Saturday’s 77-70 win at Oklahoma. The Cyclones’ leading scorer, who had scored 55 points in Iowa State’s previous three games, took and made just one shot as the focus of the Sooner defense. However, he did have a game-high seven assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals. White is the only player in the nation to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks (1.2) and steals (1.2).
Oklahoma State Players to Watch: F Le’Bryan Nash, 6-7 Fr. (13.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 39.8% FG); G Markel Brown, 6-3 So. (9.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2 apg); G Keiton Page, 5-9 Sr. (14.3 ppg, 2.2 apg, 34% 3s). Brown had a career-high 30 points on just 12 shots in Tuesday’s win over 80-63 win over Texas Tech, and followed it with a 2-for-7, 7-point effort in Saturday’s 64-60 loss to No. 6 Baylor. Brown leads the Cowboys in steals (30), rebounds (121) and is second in assists with 47.
Storylines: Missouri, Baylor and Kansas at are the top of the Big 12 standings, where they were expected to be. But Iowa State is hanging in with the talented trio at 7-3, just 1½ games behind the Tigers and a game behind the Bears and Jayhawks. The Cyclones have won five of their last six, including a 71-68 win over Oklahoma State on Jan. 18. The Cowboys are just 4-6 in the Big 12, but they proved they can play with the league’s best teams with a 79-72 win over Missouri on Jan. 25 and a close, 64-60 loss to Baylor on Saturday.
Keys: Christopherson banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cyclones their earlier win over OSU. Iowa State shot 50 percent from the field and the Cowboys shot 49 in the earlier matchup. Page led Oklahoma State with 21 points and Christopherson had a team-best 17 for ISU. Neither team led by more than six points. The Cowboys led 66-60 with three minutes remaining. Since the head-to-head matchup, Iowa State is 4-1 and the Cowboys are just 2-3. Oklahoma State led the Big 12 in 3-point defense until Baylor knocked down 15-of-28 Saturday. Still, opponents shoot just 30.1 percent from deep against the Cowboys. They have held 15 of their 23 opponents under 30 percent this season. OSU has held eight opponents under 60 points this season and is 6-2 when doing so. The Cyclones are second in the Big 12 – and 33rd in the country – shooting 38.5 percent from behind the 3-point line. They have made a league-best 8.87 3s per game. ISU is just behind the Cowboys in 3-point defense. They rank third in the Big 12, allowing 30.4 percent. OSU, on the other hand, is the Big 12’s worst 3-point shooting team at 31.4 percent. Iowa State out-rebounds its opponents by an average of 3.4 boards per game. The Cowboys are the Big 12’s worst rebounding team. They are out-rebounded by an average of 3.9 per outing. The Cowboys have made an incredible 47 of their last 50 free throws. In their last five games, Brown is 26-of-27, Page is 21-of-23, Nash has made 15 of 17 and Brian Williams is 20-of-23.The Cowboys are second to Missouri in the Big 12, hitting 74.6 percent of their free throws. That ranks 29th in the nation. Iowa State is fourth in the Big 12 at 74.3 points per game and fourth in field goal percentage at 45.3 percent. The Cyclones haven’t won in Stillwater since March 2, 1988. Iowa State’s 7-3 Big 12 mark is its best since starting 8-2 in 2000-01 and it has won three consecutive league games for the first time since 2004-05 when it won seven in a row. Iowa State is 14-1 this season when it scores at least 70 points. OSU leads the all-time series with the Cyclones, 61-53, including 35-13 in Stillwater. The Cowboys have beaten ISU 12 of the last 15 times they have met. Iowa State is 3-4 in true road games this season, but it is 2-2 on the road in the Big 12. Oklahoma State is 8-3 at Gallagher-Iba Arena this season.
The Bottom Line: This game really could go either way, but the Cyclones have been the more consistent team, giving them a slight edge, even on the road.
The Pick: Iowa State 79, Oklahoma State 75
Greg Against the Spread This Season: 57-33