TCU-Oklahoma St. Preview
Oklahoma State's final tuneup leading into this weekend's clash at Kansas comes against a team the Cowboys welcomed to the Big 12 quite rudely a season ago.
The ninth-ranked Cowboys will go for their ninth straight win against TCU Wednesday night in Stillwater a season after holding the Horned Frogs to 46.0 points per game in the schools' first two Big 12 meetings.
Oklahoma State (14-2, 2-1 Big 12) didn't have such an easy time Saturday at West Virginia, requiring a Markel Brown 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to secure a 73-72 victory and climb back into the top 10 after a one-week absence.
"Proud of our team for just hanging in there," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. "There was moments where it could have got away from us, but we just kept hanging in there and then we made a few big plays. And obviously Markel hit a really big shot."
Brown finished with 12 points while fellow guard Marcus Smart led the way with 22 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. The Big 12 Player of the Week has back-to-back double-doubles after going without one for the first 14 games of the season.
Smart (17.8 points per game) and Brown (16.8) are both among the Big 12 scoring leaders, but it was Smart who got most of West Virginia's attention in the final seconds.
"We were actually trying to feel out a shot, but when Marcus came off, everybody crashed on him, and like once before in the game he kicked it to me," Brown said. "I was open, I got a defender off his feet and I made the shot."
The Cowboys haven't needed last-second shots at home this year. They're 8-0 in Stillwater with an average winning margin of 32.6 points.
TCU (9-6, 0-3) is facing its third straight ranked opponent and second in the top 10 after Saturday's 88-62 loss to then-No. 7 Baylor.
"Baylor is pretty good. Excuse me. Let me rephrase that. Really good," TCU coach Trent Johnson said. "We could never get to a point where we could put them in a situation where they got uncomfortable with any particular play or players. We got to figure this thing out where we're playing a little better versus good people."
It dropped the Horned Frogs to 2-19 in conference games since joining the league and 1-6 against ranked conference opponents. They're still looking for their first Big 12 road win (0-10), and they've lost away games in the league by an average of 20.0 points.
Against Baylor, freshman forward Brandon Parrish scored 16 to lead TCU and is averaging 14.0 in Big 12 play after scoring 10.3 in his first 12 career games. Leading scorer Kyan Anderson (15.6) added 12.
In the last meeting with the Horned Frogs, Cowboys forward Le'Bryan Nash scored a career-high 28 to pace a 64-47 win at TCU on Feb. 27. He was the only Oklahoma State player in double figures while Anderson led TCU with 15, but the Cowboys didn't require much scoring as they held the Horned Frogs to 27.3 percent shooting. They limited TCU to 36.2 percent in the first meeting of 2012-13.
TCU will need to be much better to notch its first win against Oklahoma State since the 1986-87 season.