Previewing WVU basketball against Oklahoma State

Saturday, West Virginia looks to extend their win streak when they take on Oklahoma State. On the other hand, the Cowboys are looking to get rid of their losing record. WVU basketball will need to bring their everything to get a winning streak going.

Oklahoma State is coming off of a close loss to Texas Christian University, where they had a higher field goal and three-point percentage. That being said, they lost the rebound battle by 13 and only made five free throws compared to TCU’s 18. WVU basketball will need to bring their A-game in order to defeat a tough Oklahoma State team.

This season, West Virginia took care of Oklahoma State at home in their previous matchup with a ten-point victory. The Cowboys committed 23 fouls compared to the Mountaineers’ 17 fouls.

Free throw shooting was the leading cause of West Virginia’s victory against Oklahoma State as both field goals, and three-point percentages were nearly identical for the two teams.

The Cowboys only shot 60 percent from the line compared to the Mountaineers’ 95.5 percent in their previous matchup. Oklahoma State is dead last in the Big 12 regarding free-throw percentages, averaging only 66.4 percent from the line.

Oklahoma State shoots an average of 13 free throws per game which could be a crucial part of Saturday’s matchup.

Two Cowboys lead the Big 12 in blocks per game, sophomore forward Moussa Cisse with 1.6 blocks per game and junior forward Kalib Boone with 1.2 blocks per game. Oklahoma State also leads the Big 12 5.22 blocks per game; West Virginia follows with 5.13 blocks per game.

The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in steals per game with 9.61. WVU basketball is already prone to turning the ball over, so the quick defense of Oklahoma State might escalate these numbers. The Cowboys averaged 18.4 points off of turnovers per game which could easily make up for their missed free throws.

The Mountaineers need to look out for Oklahoma State senior guard Isaac Likekele, who scored a season-high 19 points Tuesday against Texas Christian University. He likely only averages 7.7 points per game; however, he leads the team in both rebounds and assists per game with 5.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

The Cowboys have many players contributing to their success, with 11 different players averaging ten minutes per game. Oklahoma State averages 19.9 bench points per game, and nine other players have over ten steals on the season. The Mountaineers need to adjust to the Cowboys’ constantly changing lineup.

If WVU basketball can bring their momentum from Tuesday’s win against Iowa State with them to Stillwater, they will have a great chance at adding another win to the season. That being said, the Cowboys are at risk for dropping to last place in the Big 12 with a loss on Saturday, a chance that they are most likely not willing to take.