February 27, 2015

Although it was Buddy Hield who soared to even greater heights in front of a national audience, Isaiah Cousins may also be key to Oklahoma's long-term success.

Hield and Cousins will try to stay hot Tuesday night when the No. 1 Sooners chase their 18th consecutive home win while dealing TCU a 12th straight league road defeat.

Hield rose to the occasion in a Big 12/SEC Challenge showdown against Ben Simmons and LSU on Saturday, hitting 7 of 8 from 3-point range in the second half and scoring 32 points as Oklahoma (18-2, 6-2) rallied from 14 down for a 77-75 road victory.

"That's all confidence," said the senior guard, who has totaled 62 points and hit 13 3s in his last two games.

Hield is tied for the most 3-pointers in the country (87) and ranks second with 26.2 points per game. He was named the Big 12 player of the week after his eighth 30-point performance, the most by a Sooner since Jeff Webster did it 10 times in 1993-94.

Second-leading scorer Jordan Woodard was held to five points for the second time in four games, but Cousins stepped up with 18 points, seven assists and four steals, and he capped his outstanding night by sinking the go-ahead jumper with four seconds left.

Since averaging 7.8 points while missing 12 of 14 from 3-point range over a four-game stretch last month, the senior guard has averaged 19.0 points and hit 11 of 15 from beyond the arc over his last four.

"He's been really good," Hield said of Cousins. "That's him and his play-making abilities and making shots and creating for others."

Oklahoma now looks to avoid a letdown after winning its past 17 at home by an average of 17.7 points and 27 of 28 in Norman dating to the 2013-14 season. Despite its top ranking, the squad is in a battle with Baylor and West Virginia atop the Big 12.

The Horned Frogs gave the Sooners everything they could handle at the Noble Center last season, leading by as many as 12 before the hosts rallied for a 67-60 win Feb. 28.

Hield led the way with 21 points and has averaged 20.3 while making 10 of 20 from beyond the arc and pulling down 10.3 rebounds in his last three in this series.

TCU will try to build on Saturday's 75-63 home win over Tennessee that ended a five-game skid. Malique Trent scored 15 and Chris Washburn and Brandon Parrish had 14 apiece.

"We felt like this was a need-win game. We all came in here and played that way," Washburn said after Big 12-worst TCU (10-11, 1-7) rallied from 14 down.

After holding the Volunteers to 33.3 percent shooting, the Horned Frogs should have a tough time matching that effort on the road against an Oklahoma team that ranks among the national leaders with 85.4 points per game and a 46.8 3-point percentage.

TCU hasn't had much success away from home, dropping 11 straight conference road games by an average of 14.7 points and 29 of 30 since joining the Big 12 in '13-14.

The Horned Frogs have dropped 16 of 18 all-time meetings with Oklahoma, along with 28 consecutive road games versus ranked opponents.

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