Oklahoma vs. Iowa State: Sooners Have Dropped Five Straight in Ames

Jan 21, 2017; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Christian James (3) drives to the basket in front of Iowa State Cyclones guard Matt Thomas (21) during the second half at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Sooners are one loss away from ensuring a non-winning season in men’s basketball, and the Oklahoma vs. Iowa State matchup Saturday in Ames, Iowa, will be a huge hurdle to get over if OU is to earn its first victory in seven games.

Jan 18, 2017; Morgantown, WV, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Kameron McGusty (20) shoots a three pointer during the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2017; Morgantown, WV, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Kameron McGusty (20) shoots a three pointer during the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The last Oklahoma win came on the road at West Virginia almost three weeks ago. Since then, the Sooners have lost four games at home, including one to Iowa State in double overtime, and twice on the road.

One more loss would give the Sooners 16 and guarantee a non-winning the season, the second in Lon Kruger’s sixth as the OU head coach. Oklahoma still has a ways to go to do better than Kruger’s first Sooner team which ended with a record of 15-16 and 5-13 in 2011-12.

The Sooners have lost at Iowa State in each of the last five seasons, all under Kruger, who has never won at Hilton Coliseum as the OU head coach.

In the earlier game this season between the Sooners and the Cyclones, Oklahoma squandered a 19-point first-half lead, then came from behind to knot the game at the end of regulation. It took two extra sessions to finally decide the outcome, which ended in favor of Iowa State, 92-87 with the Cyclones’ Deonte Burton recording a game-high 31 points.

Iowa State plays a ball-hawking style of defense much like West Virginia, which forced 23 Oklahoma turnovers on Wednesday in handing the Sooners their sixth consecutive loss, 60-51, in a low-scoring game in Norman. The Cyclones are second in the Big 12 in turnover margin at plus 5.3.

A week ago, Iowa State ended Kansas’ 54-game home winning streak with a 92-89 overtime victory. The Cyclones made 18 three-point field goals in the game, including six by Naz Mitrou-Long and seven by Burton. ISU shot 50 percent for the game. The Cyclones followed that up with a late rally at Texas that fell just short in a 67-65 loss to the Longhorns.

Iowa State has won 40 of its last 46 games played at Hilton Coliseum, which has proven to be a big home-court advantage for the Cyclones.

Jan 18, 2017; Morgantown, WV, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Kameron McGusty (20) shoots a three pointer during the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2017; Morgantown, WV, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Kameron McGusty (20) shoots a three pointer during the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The Sooners need desperately for senior guard and leading scorer Jordan Woodard to find the range again. in his last five games, he is averaging just over five points a game, down almost nine points from his season average.

Oklahoma is the only team in the Big 12 with a negative scoring margin through all games (-0.9). The Sooners are averaging 74 points a game on offense, but they haven’t hit 70 in the past four games, all losses.

The Sooners are going to have to muster more than 70 points, and probably in the 80s, if they hope to upset the Cyclones in their own building.

Three Things to Know About the Sooners

  • Freshman Kameron McGusty has scored in double figures in 11 consecutive games.
  • Oklahoma has no players in the top 15 in the Big 12 in field-goal percentage. As a team, the Sooners are next to worst in the conference with a 43-percent field-goal percentage.
  • OU is 115-85 all-time against the Cyclones, but just 37-50 at Iowa State.

Three Things to Know About the Cyclones

  • Iowa State has three players in the top-15 in the Big 12 in scoring: Monte Morris (16.1, fifth best in the Big 12), Naz Mitrou-Long (15.2) and Deonte Burton (14.2). All three are seniors.
  • Five of the Cyclones’ nine losses this season are to teams that were ranked at the time in the top-15 nationally.
  • Only Frank Mason of Kansas has played more average minutes this season than Iowa State’s Monte Morris (34.9).

Game Prediction

 Hilton Coliseum in Ames packs them in to the rafters, and Oklahoma can expect 14,000 strong rooting on their beloved Cyclones on Saturday. Crowd involvement is what makes road wins at Iowa State almost as rare warm days in February in Iowa. The Sooners have lost five straight at Iowa State. Make it six.

Iowa State 82, Oklahoma 70

 

 

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