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Texas Tech looks for the sweep of Oklahoma State

The Red Raiders need a win to stay in title-contention

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

After drubbing the No. 12 Jayhawks, Texas Tech (22-5, 10-4 Big 12) looks ahead to another home game against Oklahoma State at 6pm. Texas Tech is currently on a five-game winning streak coupled with a fantastic 15-1 home record in the United Supermarkets Arena. Oklahoma State shocked TCU with a close victory in Stillwater but then took a significant L against Kansas State on Sunday. Tomorrow’s match up showcases a Big 12 title contender versus one of the Big 12 cellar-dwellers, but that’s no excuse to lose respect for the Cowboys.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State travels to Lubbock with a conference record of 3-11, most recently damaged by a 86-46 loss at Kansas State. The Cowboys are led by Junior Cameron McGriff who is averaging 12.5 ppg, but McGriff only had two points in their match up against Kansas State. It was Yor Anei who led the Cowboys in that game with 12 points while newcomer Isaac Likekele (a Texas Tech target) had 10. Another threat for the Cowboys is Lindy Waters, who averages 11.3 ppg this season. McGriff and Waters have been Oklahoma State’s stable offensive pieces so you can expect that Coach Boynton will be moving the offense through them - but don’t lose track of Anei and Likekele; they’ve proved that they can get baskets, too.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech will be looking to continue dominance over the Big 12 after their gut-check against Kansas the first time. Since that loss in Lawrence, Texas Tech’s offense has moved from a sub-100 offense to 46th averaging 80.4 points a game, and moved back into the number one spot in defensive efficiency. With an average margin of victory of 25 points over the past five games: Texas Tech is playing its best basketball of the year. One sports website believes that Texas Tech is an actual NCAA title contender.

In the last match up, the Red Raiders toppled the Cowboys 78-50 after a superb offensive performance from Jarret Culver (19 points), Matt Mooney (15 points), Tariq Owens (11 points) and Davide Moretti (9 points, 8 assists). Texas Tech shot an astounding 51.8% from the field and 48% from beyond the arc. Mooney was particularly on fire from three, going 5 of 5, and Moretti’s 9 points were all from three as well. The Cowboys, in contrast, only managed 36.7% from the field and 25% from three. Under most circumstances this is not a bad ratio but when your opponent is shooting lights out then it’s the curtain-call. It also helped that Tech force 14 turnovers out of the Cowboys while only giving up 7.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech is one win away from matching the program record of 11 Big 12 wins from last year. With four games remaining on the schedule (Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Iowa State), Texas Tech has possibly the toughest remaining schedule out of the other Big 12 contenders. Currently Kansas State sits one-half game ahead of Texas Tech, while Kansas is one full game behind thanks to the game in Lubbock. If Texas Tech wins against Oklahoma State then it will be tied with Kansas State for first place. Coach Beard is calling students and fans to show up in force for the remaining two home games this season. Currently the betting line is 17 points in favor of Texas Tech but in the Big 12 - anything is possible.

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