KU Men's Basketball Travels to Oklahoma State for ESPN Big Monday Battle
Feb. 12, 2006
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Kansas (17-6, 8-2) is looking for its eighth straight win at Oklahoma State (13-11, 3-7). The Jayhawks have won three straight road games and are 4-1 in true road contests this season. Oklahoma State (13-11, 3-7) has had some rough luck as of late. The Cowboys have lost two straight and six of their last seven games with five of those decided by two points. Tonight will mark the third ESPN Big Monday appearance for Kansas this season.
One of the hottest teams in the nation, Kansas (17-6, 8-2) is on a seven-game winning streak and has won 14 of its last 16 games dating back to Dec. 10. The Jayhawks are currently 8-2 in Big 12 play and sit one game behind league leader No. 5 Texas at 9-1. KU leads the nation in field goal percentage defense at 36.2 percent and the Big 12 in assists at 18.1 per game. KU guard Brandon Rush leads KU and the Big 12 freshmen class in scoring with 14.4 points per game, 13th overall. He is scoring 16.6 points in Big 12 contests. Last week’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week, Rush also leads KU in three-point field goals with 34 and in rebounding with a 6.0 per game average, 13th in the conference. Freshman Mario Chalmers is next in scoring at 10.6 points per contest, including a 15.5 scoring average in league games. Chalmers leads the Big 12 in steals with 2.65 per game and is also among the league leaders in assists – sixth with a 4.0 average. Sophomores Russell Robinson and Sasha Kaun are each averaging 8.7 points per game. Kaun is second on the team in rebounding with a 5.8 average, 14th in the league. KU’s blocked shots leader is sophomore C.J. Giles with 33, just ahead of freshman Julian Wright’s 31. The Jayhawks are outscoring league foes by more than 13 points per game.
About Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State (13-11, 3-7) is looking to turn around a tailspin that includes two straight losses after a 46-44 defeat at Texas A&M Saturday. The Cowboys have lost six of their last seven with five of those games being decided by two points and two of those in overtime. The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 48.9 percent and free throw percentage at 73.5 percent. Junior forward Mario Boggan leads OSU in scoring at 13.7 ppg, rebounding at 5.5 rpg, field goal percentage at 58.2 percent and blocked shots with 17. He is making 80.2 percent of his free throws. Sophomore guard JamesOn Curry is next in scoring at 13.5 ppg and leads the team in assists with 4.2 per game. Junior forward Torre Johnson is next in scoring at 11.5 ppg. Freshman guard Bryon Eaton leads the team in steals with 42. Like Kansas, Oklahoma State is a young team consisting of seven freshmen and sophomores. The Cowboys lost four starters and nine letterwinners from last season’s 26-7 team.
This series dates back to 1926 and Kansas holds a 98-51 all-time advantage. KU also leads the series in games played in Stillwater – 32-39 – including a 30-29 mark in Gallagher-Iba Arena. Since the Big 12 started the Kansas holds a 9-4 edge, including a 7-2 regular-season match up record against OSU. Oklahoma State has won two of the last three meetings but Kansas has won six of the last 10. Last season saw two top 10 teams clash twice with Kansas winning 81-79 in Lawrence and Oklahoma State claiming a 78-75 decision in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City.
Kansas returns home for two games hosting Missouri Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2:45 p.m. on CBS and Baylor Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. The Baylor game will air on Jayhawk TV and ESPN Full Court.