Oklahoma State and Texas rolled into Big 12 action on the heels of strong showings during their non-conference schedules.
Now one of them will start 0-2 in conference play.The 11th-ranked Cowboys look to extend their longest winning streak in this series in nearly 10 years Wednesday night with a fourth straight victory over the visiting Longhorns.Oklahoma State (12-2, 0-1) hasn't been 0-2 in league play since the conference's inaugural season in 1996-97. Texas (11-3, 0-1) started 0-5 last year en route to a 7-11 mark, its second-worst Big 12 record ever.The Cowboys' five-game winning streak came to an end with Saturday's 74-71 loss at Kansas State. They shot a season-worst 40.4 percent, including 3 of 14 from 3-point range.Marcus Smart was 1 of 6 from deep as he scored 15 points -- two below his team-leading average -- and missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer as time expired. He was limited to 28 minutes due to foul trouble."We played tentative and we need to play hard every game," said Le'Bryan Nash, whose 20 points were two shy of a season high. "That's what I'm going to do from now on. Play 100 percent and give 100 percent."Oklahoma State is still shooting 37.5 percent from beyond the arc despite second-leading scorer Markel Brown's 2-for-18 slump. Brown and the Cowboys, though, might be able to re-discover their long-distance touch against a Texas team which lets opponents hit 35.4 percent of its 3s -- second-worst in the Big 12. The Longhorns allowed Oklahoma to go 13 for 28 in an 88-85 loss Saturday.Still, the Cowboys must continue to adjust to being without big man Michael Cobbins, who started the team's first 13 games before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury. Freshman Stevie Clark also missed Saturday's game due to a suspension stemming from his arrest on suspicion of marijuana possession three days earlier. It's unclear if Clark, who served a four-game suspension earlier in the season, will be available Wednesday.Clark (7.0 ppg) is the team's second-leading scorer off the bench while Cobbins' 1.5 blocks per game leads the Cowboys."This was going to be an adjustment game," coach Travis Ford said. "It's been a tough week. We lost a major part of our team."The Longhorns saw Javan Felix score a career-high 28 in the loss to the Sooners, but they surrendered a season-worst minus-11 rebounding margin. It was the third time in four games they allowed at least 83 points.They had entered Big 12 play having won seven of eight, with the only defeat coming to No. 5 Michigan State."It's hard to win in conference play. We're going to see how our guys respond from this," coach Rick Barnes said. "They know now that there is a different level of play and it means you've got to get better and everybody has got to be ready to play every night."Barnes' club won both of its road games, 81-80 at Temple in overtime on Dec. 7 and 86-83 over then-No. 14 North Carolina on Dec. 18.Texas leads the all-time series 45-38 and had won 11 of 12 meetings before dropping each of the last three. It's the most consecutive wins the Cowboys have had over the Longhorns since taking four straight Feb. 22, 2003-March 14, 2004.Brown, though, is 3 for 17 from beyond the arc in six career matchups with Texas.
Marcus Smart had 24 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 6 steals in Oklahoma State's win over Texas.
He one of just 4 players to reach those numbers in a game against a DI opponent in the last 15 seasons.