The Cowboys return to action in Stillwater this afternoon to take on the No. 6 Shockers (7-1), in what should be the first true test for a team with a lot of questions still hanging over them.
Both teams come into today’s game with one loss. Both teams lost to a Top 10 opponent. The difference is, we know how good the Shockers are by the schedule they’ve played thus far. With wins over No.23 Baylor and Marquette, the Shockers have proven they’re a good team, but the Cowboys are a different story.
The Cowboys don’t have any significant wins so far this season. The seven teams the Cowboys have beaten have a combined record of 20-43. There’s no doubt that the schedule has been the Cowboys best friend so far this season, but that’s about to change real quick.
The Shockers come in to today’s game as a five point favorite. The Shockers are the better of the two teams in just about every statistical category, so it’s no surprise they’re picked to win this game. The Shockers are the 13th ranked team in scoring with 88.0 points per game.
Shockers Head Coach Gregg Marshall has one of his better teams this year, because of the returning players and discipline this team has. It’s no secret, the Shockers are a Final Four worthy team and the Cowboys are going to have a lot on their plate today.
When it comes to today’s matchup the past is on the Cowboys side. The series record between the two teams favors the Cowboys, leading the series 30-8 all-time. The Shockers don’t have the best of luck when it comes to playing in Stillwater. They’re 2-17 when visiting Stillwater and haven’t won since 1957. The last time these two teams met was in 2008. The Cowboys would upset the Shockers in Wichita 93-76.
Keys to Victory
Defense – The Cowboys have a been a really good team defensively this year. A lot of that has to do with weakness of the schedule, but you can’t bash them for being the 21st ranked scoring defense in the nation, giving up only 62.2 points per game. We will be seeing how good head coach Mike Boynton’s team defense really is today.
Win at the Line – The Cowboys come into today’s game as one of the worst teams at getting to the free throw line. The Cowboys average 18 free throws a game, which puts them as the 234th team in the entire nation. The Shockers have the tendency to allow opponents to get to the line quite frequently. The Cowboys will need to use that to their advantage. The Cowboys are the 16th best free throw shooting team by making 78% of their shots from the line. The thing is, the Cowboys need to actually get to the line to use that strength.
Get Big – The Cowboys lack of depth in the post could be the difference in the game that helps the Shockers pull out a win on the road. Hopefully Boynton focused on boxing out and crashing the boards in practice over the past week, cause it’s a must for today’s game. The Shockers center Shaquille Morris is going to be an issue all day if the Cowboys can’t control the paint. Morris is averaging over 14 points a game and is a very smart and crafty player in the post. The Shockers are one of the better rebounding teams in the nation averaging 45 rebounds a game.
Cowboys 75, Shockers 82
When and Where?
Gallagher-Iba Arena, 3 p.m. CT – ESPN2