Preview: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma

February, 22, 2012
2/22/12
7:45
AM ET
No matter what happens, Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger believes his team has something to play for in its final four regular season games.

We will learn tonight if his team agrees.

The Sooners will carry a six-game losing streak into Wednesday’s Bedlam game against Oklahoma State (7 p.m. tipoff) at the Lloyd Noble Center. OU is 13-13 overall, 3-11 in the Big 12, while the Cowboys enter the game with a 13-14 record, 6-8 in the Big 12. OSU is 3-3 in its last six games including wins over Iowa State and Texas.

A strong effort from the Sooners will show if OU still believes it can salvage the season while a poor effort could mean it's ready to end this season as soon as possible.

Key to OU win: Keeping the Cowboys off the free throw line, particularly Keiton Page. OSU shot an eye-popping 56 free throws in Saturday’s win over Texas and Page was 20 of 20 from the line. The Sooners will have to limit OSU’s penetration and play sound defense to force the Pokes to score from the field.

Key to OSU win: Forcing OU to beat them from the outside. If Romero Osby and Andrew Fitzgerald provide inside scoring for the Sooners it will open up shots for Steven Pledger and give OU confidence to snap its losing streak.

Stat line that will tell the tale: Steals. The team that wins the steals battle could have an advantage in this game because they will likely be getting easier shots than the opponent. Points off turnovers could be the key to this game.

Sooners X factor: Cameron Clark. The sophomore is coming on in the final weeks of his second season in crimson and cream. He has scored 29 points on 14 of 23 shooting in OU’s last two games. He logged a team-high 74 combined minutes in the two games.

Cowboys X factor: Brian Williams. The redshirt freshman is a bit of a wildcard. Williams can put up 20-plus points or put up three points but he is a solid defender and tends to make an impact on the game even if he doesn’t score.

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