January 31, 2009

Aggieland Sweep? OSU looks for 2nd win over A&M

After gutting it out against Bedlam rival Oklahoma and losing a close one at home, Oklahoma State hits the road today for a big game against Texas A&M.

The Cowboys (13-6 overall, 2-3 Big 12) are in a position where every game the rest of the way is vital if they're to make a legit bid for an NCAA Tournament berth. Getting wins on the road is important for the Pokes and they'll have a good shot at one today against the Aggies (16-5, 2-4), a team that has struggled so far in Big 12 play. The game is set for a 1 p.m. tipoff and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

The 89-81 loss to the No. 4 Sooners on Big Monday was a tough one for the Cowboys, who have now lost two home conference games. Beating A&M for the second time this season would help to erase that negative home mark a bit. On Jan. 10, the Pokes bested the Aggies 72-61 in a game which saw five of Travis Ford's guy post double-figure scoring efforts, led by the 15 points of Marshall Moses, who also had 13 rebounds. OSU held A&M to 38 percent shooting the first time around, although Chinemelu Elnou and B.J. Holmes had nice games, scoring 20 and 19 points, respectively.

A&M isn't as fierce as they have been the last few years. Before their win over Texas Tech earlier this week, the Aggies dropped three straight games and four of their past five going back to the first game against OSU. So the Cowboys could be catching them at the right time. They feature an offense spread around fairly evenly, with Josh Carter (12.7 points per game), Donald Sloan (11.2 ppg), Bryan Davis (10.3 ppg) and Elnou (10.0 ppg) all factors on that side of the ball.

As for that win over the Red Raiders, Aggie head coach Mark Turgeon said that it was nice to get back to winning ways.

"After the slow start, I thought our kids were really good the rest of the game," Turgeon said. "We did what we had to do to win. We made our free throws late, although we didn't make a lot early. I thought our execution was great and I thought our running game was better. All in all, I'm really proud of our players. That was a good win. The crowd, in particular the student body, was fantastic. It was a great win because I thought Tech played at a really high level. It wasn't easy, but this was a big one for us.

"I do think we're getting better. Our confidence should be high going into Saturday plus they (Oklahoma State) beat us pretty good (earlier in the month). We have to adjust and hopefully play better."

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