The Big 12 has had a crazy season as a conference so far this year, and it will continue Wednesday night. The Cyclones will head to the Gallagher-Iba arena to face the Cowboys. In the match-up earlier in the season the Cyclones won by only two points (63-61). In a low scoring contest ISU was relieved by Dustin Hogue as he put up 17 points. Although no point was bigger than his late game block that sealed the victory.
Each team has had its ups and downs throughout the year.
Iowa State: The Cyclones come into the game 8-4 in Big 12 games and 6-4 over its last 10 games. The four road losses have come from Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas and Oklahoma. Looking closely at each loss they all have happened on the road. Meaning that ISU hasn’t been a good team while away from Ames. This news fares while for fans of OSU. But, ISU is fresh off a 20 point win against West Virginia, the same team that just defeated Kansas by one.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys on the other hand are 5-5 in its last 10 games and post a 7-6 conference record. Despite the mediocrity they can still hang their cowboy hat on the teams recent four game stretch. Take away the bad loss to TCU (70-55) and the three games before there was a magic that the OSU Cowboys played with. Winning in Texas in overtime (65-63), a home victory against Kansas (67-62) and again on the road at Baylor (74-65).
Georges Niang vs Le’Bryan Nash: This will be a battle of players who will need to step up in order for their teams to pick up a win.
First there’s Niang, he enters the game averaging 14.7 ppg and a shade under 30 minutes per game for ISU. He should make the all conference team and is making his way towards becoming an all-american contender. He shoots 46 percent from the field making him an efficient scorer. He also dishes out the rock averaging 3.7 assists.
Nash is a 6’7” guard-forward with a similar stat line. He can put up points in bunches averaging 17.2 ppg along with 5.7 boards per game for the Cowboys. What sets Nash apart from Niang is on the defensive end. He gets it done by blocking shots and getting steals. He’ll need to keep his defensive efforts high as he may be asked to guard Niang during some part of the contest.
The Pick: OSU has always been a tough place to play no matter what the teams record indicates. This year is no different. The Cowboys always have gritty players that do whatever it takes to win a game. And taking into consideration ISU road losses, I think the road woes will continue in Stillwater.
*Section Photo credit to David Purdy, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Nelson Chenault, USA Today Sports