Pokes Set to Face Georgetown in Big 12/Big East Battle

Zach Lancaster

STILLWATER -- There's a big game coming up for Oklahoma State as Georgetown comes to Stillwater for the inaugural Big 12/Big East Battle.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Nov. 4 and will broadcasted on ESPN+. This game marks the second all-time meeting between the two programs, with Oklahoma State winning the first meeting 97-70 in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational in 2016.

“[Georgetown’s] really aggressive defensively,” said coach Boynton. “They’re really long, athletic, deep. They play really hard and they press quite often, and they have a really good big. So, it’s probably the most athletic back court that we’ve faced. [James] Akinjo and [Mac] McClung, two guys who play above the rim at just over six feet tall. They’re a really, really good team, so we’ll have our hands full Wednesday night.”

However, the Hoyas, led by NBA and New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing, are dealing with some controversy and will be without their second and fifth-leading scorers for the remainder of the season. According to several reports, starting point guard James Akinjo and reserve forward Josh LeBlanc have both entered the transfer portal.

“Georgetown University men's basketball players James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc will not be playing for the men's basketball team effective immediately and will not be members of the team for the remainder of the season,” Head Coach Patrick Ewing announced on Monday in a statement released by Georgetown.

But things are a little more complicated than two players just leaving a program. In a report by CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander and Kyle Boone, court documents obtained by CBS Sports revealed that “at least two accusers filed for temporary restraining orders Nov. 5 against LeBlanc and Georgetown teammates Galen Alexander and Myron Gardner. In one complaint, the accuser expresses fear for her own safety, as well as the safety of her roommates, and alleges LeBlanc of assault and battery, plus theft of personal property.”

In a second accusation that was filed on Nov. 12, Gardner was accuses “of sexual harassment and assault on Sept. 15 at the accuser’s residence.”

Last season, Akinjo was the 2018-19 Big East freshman of the year, averaging 13.4 points and 5.2 assists per game. To start this season, he was averaging 13.4 points, 4.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game.

As for LeBlanc, he was averaging 7.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.

Georgetown is off to a rough start to the season, going 4-3 and are coming off a 65-61 loss to UNC Greensboro at home. Their other losses have come at the hands of Penn State, 81-66, and Duke, 81-73.

The Hoyas enter the contest averaging 77.6 points per game this season. Oklahoma State enters this game averaging just 74.3 points per game, but they're limiting opponents to just 58.4 points per game.

The Cowboys are lead by starting point guard Isaac Likekele, who's leading the team in minutes, points, assists and steals per game. Ice is scoring at a 57 percent clip this season and is averaging 13.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.9 steals per 30.9 minutes of action.

The Pokes are also getting stellar play from fellow sophomore Yor Anei. The big man is averaging 12.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game. Anei's 3.3 blocked shots are good for 10th in the country.

As a team, the Cowboys rank No. 4 in the country for 3-point defense as they're limiting opponents to just 23.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc.