The Oklahoma Sooners defeated the Iowa State Cyclones 87-83 on January 2nd of this year. Once thought to be a contender for the Big XII regular season title, the Cyclones now sit at 2-3 in conference play and on the outside looking in. Having yet to play Kansas or West Virginia, the potential of returning to the conversation remains. However, it starts tonight as ISU hosts the Sooners in Ames with a shot to settle the score in a rematch.
What To Watch
The Big XII's two leading scorers once again meet on the hardwood. In round one, Georges Niang led all scorers behind a 29-point outing while Buddy Hield collected 22 points of his own. Regardless, the Big XII scoring title remains Hield's for the taking as the 6-4 guard averages 26 points each night. On the other end of the court, Niang puts up a respectable 19.6 points each outing. Who will win the individual battle tonight and more importantly, lead their team to victory?
There's no denying that Hilton Coliseum remains one of the toughest stops on the tour. Dating back to February of 2011, the Cyclones boast a 72-6 record in front of a home crowd. Unfortunately for fans, Baylor cracked the code ending a nine game home winning streak. Now, Oklahoma looks to continue the trend. It's a tall task knowing OU has not won in Ames since January 29th of 2011.
Iowa State has struggled on defense as of late. The Cyclones currently allow opponents to shoot the ball at a 43% conversion rate while racking up an average of 74.3 points. A look a the conference stat sheet reveals exactly where these numbers stack up. Where is that you ask? League worst! Tonight, ISU must find a way to slow down the conference's top scoring team (86.3) if the Cyclones hope to take a step back toward the regular season conference championship.