By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Tonight, two struggling Big 12 basketball teams will meet up in Hilton Coliseum. The Iowa State Cyclones (13-12, 2-8) have lost seven out of their last eight games. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma State (17-7, 5-5) has lost three of four.
For some brief analysis on the importance of Iowa State’s next five games, click the video above.
What you need to know about tonight…
– Iowa State traditionally does very well against Oklahoma State at home. The Cyclones lead this series of games played in Ames 33-13. However, the Cowboys have won 10 out of the last 12 games between these two teams. Greg McDermott is 1-3 against Oklahoma State in his career.
– Oklahoma State really beat up on rival-Oklahoma this past Saturday by a 97-76 final. James Anderson scored 31 points in the game, including an amazing 27 point first half. He leads the conference in scoring at 22.6 points per game. Anderson has scored in double figures in 38 straight contests.
– Anderson is a good friend of Iowa State’s Craig Brackins. The two were teammates/roommates during last summer’s USA World University Games team.
– Oklahoma State’s second leading scorer is senior guard Obi Muonelo. Muonelo averages 12.7 points per game and he’s deadly from 3-point range. Muonelo has converted on 44.4 percent of his 3-point shots this season. He’s buried 52 of them this year and 217 in his career.
Oklahoma State’s starting lineup (according to cyclones.com)
Matt Pilgrim: 6-8, 235 pound Jr. F. – 7.8 PPG, 6.6 RPG
Obi Muonelo: 6-5, 220-pound Sr. G. – 12.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG
Keiton Page: 5-9, 170-pound So. G – 10.3 PPG, 2.4 APG
Fred Gulley: 6-2, 175-pound Fr. G – 1.5 PPG, 2.1 RPG
James Anderson: 6-6, 210-pound Jr. G. – 22.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG
Ever since the Kansas State game, Iowa State has arguably been playing their most consistent basketball of the season. They’re rebounding better. They’re playing with more energy. They’ve truly looked like a back against the wall sort of a basketball team. Urgency hasn’t been an issue. The problem continues to be putting together 40 straight minutes of solid basketball, which is tough to do with literally no depth at all.
LaRon Dendy will be back tonight, which should help. Will he play though? That’s still a question.
I actually really like Iowa State’s chances in this one. I really like what the next five games could ultimately bring to this program. That is momentum. The improvement that we’ve seen with this team over the past two weeks against tough competition has been substantial. Can they capitalize on it in this five game stretch?
I say that they do, tonight at least.
Iowa State 75, Oklahoma State 71