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Oklahoma Sooners vs. Iowa State Cyclones Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/11/14

Iowa State Cyclones (14-0) at Oklahoma Sooners (12-3)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Lloyd Noble Center)

The Line: Oklahoma Sooners +3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


Storyline: Ninth-ranked Iowa State continues its ascent up the rankings, upsetting #7 Baylor 87-72 Tuesday and improving to 14-0 for the best start in school-history. Oklahoma, meanwhile, comes in off a 90-83 loss to #18 Kansas Wednesday after opening Big 12 play with a win over Texas.

The Breakdown: The Cyclones sure picked the right time to play their most complete game of the season. Facing a bigger, more highly-regarded Baylor team that came in having played the country’s 17th toughest schedule, Iowa State had no choice but to outscrap their opponent. And they did, shooting 54 percent from the field to the Bears’ 42 percent, outscoring them 47-26 in the paint and winning the turnover battle 19-10. Senior G DeAndre Kane, a Marshall transfer, had a team-high 30 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds, while senior F Melvin Ejim scored 18 points on 8 of 14 shooting. The Cyclones also had a 15-0 advantage in transition points. Freshman G Monte Morris added 13 points, including 3 of 4 from downtown. Iowa State ranks 5th nationally at 87.0 ppg on 49 percent shooting and Ejim leads the team in scoring with 17.8 ppg. Kane is second with 16.1 ppg.

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Iowa State Cyclones Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/11/14

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sport

Oklahoma comes in struggling on defense, having lost two of its last three games after allowing Louisiana Tech and Kansas to score 102 and 90, respectively—well over their season averages. The Sooners had been able to trump one of the nation’s worst scoring defenses (#321 allowing 79.1 ppg) with one of its best scoring offenses (#5 at 87.0 ppg) in building an 11-1 record heading into conference play. But that seems to be shifting as the Big 12 season moves forward. Even in their Big 12 opening win at Texas, defensive lapses were evident, with Oklahoma allowing the Longhorns to both shoot and score above season averages. Against Kansas, the Sooners shot 45 percent from the floor and 31 percent from beyond the arc, but surrendered one of the Jayhawks best shooting performances of the season, 54 percent from the field and 8 of 16 from distance. Senior G Cameron Clark matched a season-high 32 points, including 12 of 16 from the stripe. On the season, the Sooners are averaging 87.0 ppg on 46 percent shooting and Clark leads the team with 18.7 ppg.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this matchup is currently set at -3.5 for Iowa State. Two high-scoring teams, but what’s gotten Iowa State to this point is everything else in concert with scoring. Against Baylor, the Cyclones were everywhere and willed themselves to victory. OU seems to be missing some of that wherewithal lately. Look for Iowa State to cover.

Follow me on Twitter @SCPRick



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