The Texas Longhorns (22-3, 10-0) will host the Oklahoma State Cowboys (16-8, 4-6) tonight at 8:00 p.m. CT at the Frank Erwin Center here in Austin. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Texas won the first meeting between the two teams in Stillwater, 61-46.
After losing three straight games, including 61-46 to Texas in Stillwater, the Cowboys rallied to win two in a row, beating Missouri and Oklahoma on the road. But the Pokes proceeded to lose at Nebraska on Saturday, dropping them to 0-5 in Big 12 road games on the season. (Be sure to check out this excellent home-away splits post from Cowboys Ride For Free.)
Keys to the Game
1. Make OSU earn it. The Cowboys single best offensive attribute is their ability to get to the free throw line, and when they don't, they're prone to long stretches without scoring.
2. Smart defense. The Cowboys aren't multi-dimensional enough to make you pay from four or five spots on the floor, and a good defensive team will be keyed in on particular players and looks that the Pokes are trying to develop. We did a brilliant job smothering Keiton Page in Stillwater, and we'll need to keep a close body on Marshall Moses to make him work for his points.
3. Develop a killer instinct. Okay, we know you can build a 20 point lead in the first half. Now show us the killshot. We're at the point now where this team is preparing not just for postseason play, but, we hope, a run to Houston. Just as this is the time when teams on the bubble have to pull it all together, we want to see Texas continuing to round into top form, as well. For this squad, playing in a home game against a team it can dominate, that means a more complete game than we've shown of late. Start strong, and then bury the opponent.
Prediction: Texas 75 Oklahoma State 54