Coming off their loss over the weekend to No. 17 Iowa State, the No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers are taking on the No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners Tuesday night.
Oklahoma had won four straight games before they lost to Kansas State at home on Saturday. The Sooners are 11-4 on the season, 2-1 in the Big 12, while the Mountaineers are 14-2, 2-1 Big 12.
When the two teams first played each other during WVU’s inaugural Big 12 season, Oklahoma won 67-57 in Morgantown and 70-63 in Norman, Okla. Last season West Virginia finally took a win in overtime 91-86 only to lose again at Oklahoma 72-62.
The Sooners lost seniors Cameron Clark and Tyler Neal after last season. Clark averaged 16.1 points a game and led the team with 19 points the last time they faced West Virginia. This season junior Buddy Hield is leading Oklahoma, averaging 16.8 points a game, and senior TaShawn Thomas is making an impact with 11.9 a game.
In their first matchup, then-junior Juwan Staten dropped 20 points on OU, and 24 the second time the two teams played. Staten was averaging 18.1 points a game last season, and 16.5 a game so far this season, with junior Jonathan Holton and sophomore Devin Williams both contributing about 10 points a game.
Last season Williams played well against the Sooners in both matchups, putting up 28 points in their game at home and 14 in Norman.
Before losing to Kansas State this past weekend, Oklahoma handed a tough loss to No. 10 Texas in Austin, 70-49. The Sooners forced 12 turnovers from the Longhorns, held them to 30 percent from the field and grabbed 42 rebounds. Cousins, Hield, Spangler and Thomas have all combined for 289 defensive rebounds this season for the Sooners while the Mountaineers’ top rebounders have only gotten 191 defensively.
In their loss to K-State, Oklahoma had 13 turnovers of their own and shot about 40 percent from the field, but it wasn’t enough in the end to take the win. The score stayed very close for the last eight minutes of the game.
West Virginia was on a seven-game win streak before losing to Iowa State on Saturday night. In their early January game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the Mountaineers shot 47.6 percent from the field but only managed 32.4 percent against Iowa State.
Oklahoma has a strong rebound game, especially defensively, and WVU has struggled in that department in their last two games, grabbing 22 from Texas Tech and only 19 from Iowa State.
Both teams are one-loss teams in the conference and want to keep that streak alive. West Virginia is sitting at third in the Big 12 and Oklahoma at fifth–while they can’t move up in the league unless Kansas or Iowa State lose a game, another conference win would give them the chance to do so.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Coliseum, and the game will be broadcast on ESPNEWS as well.