Big 12 battle pits Cowboys against Mountaineers

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Updated: 1/11 11:38 am

Morgantown, WV (SportsNetwork.com) - The 11th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys hit the road for Big 12 action this weekend, as they take on the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.

Travis Ford's Cowboys are an impressive 13-2 on the season, but one of those losses came in last weekend's Big 12 opener at Kansas State (74-71). Oklahoma State was able to find its way back into the win column earlier this week, with an 87-74 victory over Texas in Stillwater to even up its league record at 1-1.

Bob Huggins' Mountaineers are 10-5 on the season and sit ahead of the Cowboys in the Big 12 standings early on. West Virginia was on the road for a pair of league tilts in the last week, and won both with a 74-69 victory at TCU, followed by a thrilling 89-86 overtime win at Texas Tech.

This marks just the fourth all-time meeting between these two teams. Last season the Cowboys swept the Mountaineers, with an 80-66 win in Stillwater and a 73-57 decision in Morgantown.

Back in the friendly confines of Gallagher-Iba Arena, Oklahoma State's backcourt tandem of Markel Brown and Marcus Smart put on a clinic. Brown was 8-of-13 from the floor and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line to finish with a game-high 27 points. Smart poured in 24 points, thanks in large part to his 16-of-20 effort from the charity stripe, while completing a double-double with 11 rebounds. Phil Forte performed well off the bench, adding 14 points in support for OSU, which used a sterling .542 shooting effort in the second half to distance itself from Texas.

Oklahoma State has played extremely well at both ends of the floor, and as a result, is enjoying an impressive +20.7 scoring margin. A highly efficient squad offensively, OSU is putting up 85.8 ppg on .494 shooting. Smart is the straw that stirs the drink in Stillwater. The All-American can do it all, leading the team in scoring (17.5 ppg), assists (4.0 apg) and steals (2.7 spg), while also making his mark on the boards (4.9 rpg). Brown (17.1 ppg) is a top-notch scoring threat as well from the perimeter, as is Forte (12.5 ppg) off the bench. Le'Bryan Nash (13.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) headlines the play up front.

Terry Henderson hit a huge 3-pointer to send the game into overtime and the Mountaineers outlasted the hometown Red Raiders to earn the win in Lubbock and remain unbeaten in league play. Henderson was one of four WVU players to notch double digits in the scoring column, finishing with 16 points. Leading the team in scoring was Juwan Staten, who was 10-of-12 from the floor, posting 25 points. Eron Harris poured in 18 points, while Devin Williams finished with 12.

Strong offensive play is nothing new in Morgantown, as West Virginia comes into this contest averaging a robust 81.1 ppg. The team is shooting a solid .468 from the floor and just under 40 percent from behind the arc (.398). Harris leads a trio of double-digit threats for the Mountaineers with 18.5 ppg, thanks to his .446 accuracy from 3-point range (41-of-92). He gets perimeter help from Henderson and his 11.3 ppg. Frontcourt balance comes in the form of Staten (16.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Williams (9.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg).

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