Date: January 25, 2020
Tip: 1:00 pm
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (OKC, OK)
The Sooners have the opportunity to regroup, and possibly refocus, as they step out of conference play against Mississippi State. OU is 3-3 in the Big 12 with a trip to Kansas State and then Bedlam coming up next week.
Here’s what you’ll want to know about Saturday’s game against the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State owns a 3-0 record against the Sooners and the two teams haven’t met since they played a neutral site game, in New Orleans, in 2002.
OU is 12-9 against current SEC teams in the Kruger era, including 10-5 against schools which were SEC members at the time of competition. The Sooners have won four straight games against SEC schools, including a 77-66 win over Missouri earlier this season.
Once more, Oklahoma is 4-2 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge with previous wins over LSU, Missouri, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt while falling to Florida and Alabama.
At ‘The Peak’
Oklahoma owns a 14-6 record when playing at Chesapeake Energy Arena and is 5-1 in the building during the Lon Kruger era. Under Kruger, the Sooners have won two All-College Classic games at (2012 vs. Texas A&M, 2011 vs. Houston) and won first and second round 2016 NCAA Tournament games against CSU-Bakersfield and VCU during the Sooners’ path to the Final Four. OU’s most recent game inside the Peake was a dominant 32-point win over Wichita State last season.
The Sooners are 13-4 when playing in an NBA arena under Lon Kruger.
Kid Is Feelin’ It
Brady Manek has totaled 52 points over his last two games (Jan. 18 vs. TCU, Jan. 20 at Baylor), shooting 60.7% from the field and 11-of-17 (64.7%) from 3-point range. The junior scored a career-best 31 points against TCU followed by a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double at Baylor. Manek is averaging 16.0 points during Big 12 play – the third-most in the league.
Waiting For The 1,000 Point Club
Oklahoma senior forward Kristian Doolittle enters Saturday’s game with 984 career points – 16 shy of the 1,000-point milestone. Oklahoma’s leading scorer, Doolittle grew up in the city of Edmond – roughly 15 miles north of Chesapeake Energy Arena. Doolittle is aiming to become the 47th Sooner to score 1,000 points in a career at Oklahoma. His teammate, Brady Manek, reached the 1,000-point milestone last Saturday against TCU.
Dominating Non-Conference Opponents
Oklahoma has been dominant in non-conference play in recent seasons, boasting a combined 31-6 record in its last 37 non-league regular-season games. In non-conference play since 2017-18, Oklahoma is 12-5 against major conference schools (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC) and 16-6 in games played away from Norman.
The Sooners have won 17 straight home non-conference matchups (15 straight at Lloyd Noble Center). OU’s last non-conference home loss came in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge to Florida on Jan. 28, 2017.
The Three Amigos
Oklahoma boasts the top scoring trio in the Big 12 and one of the best in the country in senior forward Kristian Doolittle (15.9 points per game), junior forward Brady Manek (15.6) and junior guard Austin Reaves (14.7). All three Sooners rank in the top 10 of the Big 12’s scoring race – led by Doolittle with the fifth-highest scoring average in the league. Oklahoma is one of only three major-conference schools (Arkansas, Miami) with three players averaging over 14.5 points.
Doolittle is the only Big 12 player averaging at least 15 points and eight rebounds.
Yes, It Really Is That Easy
Sometimes the key to victory is as simple as making shots. The Sooners are 11-1 this season when they have a better field goal percentage than their opponents. Their only loss when owning a better field goal percentage was on the road at No. 1 Baylor.
OU is 11-3 when holding its opponents to under 80 points.
Mississippi State is winning games this season by an average score of 73-65. They’re grabbing 38.8 rebounds (80th nationally) and recording 13.9 assists per game (151st nationally).
The Bulldogs are led in scoring by forward Reggie Perry who is scoring 16.9 points per game while also grabbing a team-high 10.3 rebounds. Guard Tyson Carter is leading the way with 3.7 assists per game while also averaging 13.6 points per game.
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