Know Your Foe: No. 17 Oklahoma State

No. 6 West Virginia meets No. 17 Oklahoma State in the season finale
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The No. 6 West Virginia Mountaineers welcome the No. 17 Oklahoma State Cowboys Saturday at 2:00 pm EST on ESPN2.

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West Virginia took the first meeting against Oklahoma State 87-84 in the early portion of the Big 12 Conference schedule. The Mountaineers trailed throughout the game and as many as 19 near the midway point of the second half before storming back behind Miles “Deuce” McBride’s 19-second half points, and Derek Culver registered a game-high 22 points and 19 rebounds.

Since then, the Cowboys have gone 10-4, with two of the losses coming to the Baylor Bears, along with road losses to the Kansas Jayhawks and the TCU Horned Frogs. However, they stacked back-to-back wins over Oklahoma, dropped Kansas, Texas, and gathered the season sweep over Texas Tech.

In the Big 12 Conference, the Cowboys rank second in field goal percentage (46.3), defensive rebounds (27.8), steals (7.4), and blocked shots (4.3), and third in scoring at 76.3 points per game, but turnovers have been an issue leading the league with 15.8 per game.

Oklahoma State is led by potential top 3 NBA Draft pick Cade Cunningham (6’8”, 220-lbs), who leads the Big 12 conference in scoring at 19.7 ppg but is questionable after suffering a sprained ankle in the 81-70 loss to Baylor Thursday night. Also, junior starting point guard Isaac Likekele (6’5”, 215-lbs) is questionable after missing the previous three games due to a hand injury. He registered 22 points against the Mountaineers.

Naturally, the Cowboys are running short on personnel, and without Cunningham, Oklahoma State is 1-1 with a loss to Baylor and the win over Iowa State on the road.

Sophomore guard Avery Anderson III (6’3”, 170-lbs) is second on the team in scoring at 10.2 ppg. Forward Kalib Boone (6’9” 210-lbs) leads the team in blocks with 1.8 per game on the season and has turned up his production in the last five games averaging 13.2 ppg and 5.5 rebounds during that span while freshman forward Mathew-Alexander Montcrieffe (6’7”, 215-lbs) has gradually improved through the course of the season and grabbed 12 rebounds in the overtime win over Oklahoma.

Jan 4, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Avery Anderson III (0) dribbles past West Virginia Mountaineers forward Gabe Osabuohien (3) during the second half at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Senior guard Bryce Williams (6’2”, 180-lbs) averaged 14.5 points in the two wins over Oklahoma before a six-point outing in the loss to Baylor but scored 11 in the first game versus West Virginia, and freshman guard Rondel Walker (6’4”170-lbs) can get to his spots, averaging 8.6 ppg.

West Virginia is 10-8 all-time versus Oklahoma State, including winning the last three meetings. West Virginia is 1-0 when both teams are ranked and 5-2 when ranked at home. 

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