Oklahoma St.-Nebraska Preview


Both Oklahoma State and Nebraska are coming off losses. One team, however, has left itself much more room for improvement.

The ninth-ranked Cowboys try to rebound from their worst performance of the season Saturday when they visit the Cornhuskers in a Big 12 matchup.

Off to its best start since 2001-02, Oklahoma State (15-2, 1-1) was cooled off considerably with an 87-57 loss at No. 6 Kansas on Wednesday.

The Cowboys, who lost their 32nd straight road game against a top 10 team, were limited to 32.1 percent (17-of-53) shooting and their lowest point total in 24 games.

"It's one of the most embarrassing moments I've been a part of," Cowboys coach Sean Sutton said. "I've been a part of so many great games in this series, and we didn't do our part tonight."

Kansas scored 23 points off turnovers and outscored Oklahoma State 18-0 on fast breaks and 48-18 in the paint.

"They are a great team, but it was just a real bad night for us," junior JamesOn Curry said. "I can't make an explanation for it. We just played bad."

The Cowboys rely heavily on senior Mario Boggan and Curry, who are averaging a combined 40.8 points -- the second-highest average in the nation for a pair of teammates. Boggan, though, was held to a season-low eight points on 4-of-16 shooting, while Curry had 12, nearly seven below his average.

Even with a poor showing in their last game, the Cowboys remain one of the nation's best offensive teams. They rank 13th in the country in scoring (83.2 ppg) and 12th in field goal percentage (50.2).

Wednesday's contest was the first true road game this season for Oklahoma State, which has won five of six at neutral sites.

The Cowboys are in the midst of a very difficult four-game stretch with games against No. 6 Kansas, Nebraska, 25th-ranked Texas and No. 8 Texas A&M. Those four teams have a combined record of 51-11.

The Cornhuskers (11-4, 0-1) were unable to overcome a slow start to the second half Wednesday in a 72-61 loss to Iowa State.

Nebraska, which led by as many as eight points in the first half, fell to 0-9 in Big 12 road openers.

"We came out soft," Nebraska coach Doc Sadler said of the second half. "You can't win at home or on the road playing like we did."

Junior center Aleks Maric was a bright spot, recording his fourth double-double this season with 20 points and 13 rebounds. He ranks sixth in the Big 12 with 18.2 points per game and is tied for fourth in the conference with 7.9 rebounds.

Freshman Ryan Anderson, the Cornhuskers' second-leading scorer, was limited to two points on 0-of-3 shooting in nine minutes Wednesday.

Anderson, averaging 12.5 points per game, has been hobbled by a lower leg sprain and that has clearly affected his play. He has 11 total points in his last three games after scoring a season-high 29 in an 81-72 loss to Hawaii on Dec. 22.

Oklahoma State has won 20 of the past 30 meetings dating to 1988, but Nebraska has taken the last two. The Cornhuskers are 34-12 at home in the all-time series.