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STILLWATER -- Yesterday's 82-31 win over Southeastern Louisiana was the first game back for point guard Isaac Likekele. Likekele's been out since before the Georgetown game on Dec. 4 with an undisclosed illness, and in that time frame, the Pokes picked up their three lone losses on the season.

They fell 81-74 to Georgetown, 80-61 to Wichita State and 86-66 to Minnesota.

Well, things have certainly turned around and taken a turn for the better as the Cowboys have jumped from No. 43 to No. 29 in the latest NET rankings.

As for those three losses? They came to No. 10, No. 28 and No. 30 in the rankings bringing the Pokes to 9-3 as they're preparing to enter conference play.

We've heard the past two seasons from head coach Mike Boynton just how important scheduling for the non-conference can be. Things weren't great last season from a roster standpoint, but the schedule was one of the best in the country.

This season, they've faced one of their toughest non-conference slates yet as they've faced the No. 10 team in Wichita State, the No. 28 team in Minnesota, the No. 30 team in Georgetown and the No. 40 team in Houston.

As mentioned, the Cowboys start Big 12 play this weekend as they'll travel to Lubbock and will face Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are currently ranked No. 22 in the country, and are No. 38 in the updated NET Rankings.

But don't let that discrepancy fool you; the Red Raiders are 9-3 to start the season and while one of their losses came against DePaul in overtime, they beat No. 1 Louisville 70-57.