Preview: Oklahoma Sooners (11-1) vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (10-3)

Oklahoma Split Louisiana Tech
11-1 Record 10-3
86.3 Points/Game 81.8
75.8 Opponent PPG 67.0
40.2 Rebounds/Game 40.3
15.4 Assists/Game 15.5
W7 Streak W2

Oklahoma returns to the Lloyd Noble Center for their last non-conference game. Their final match-up comes against a 10-3 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs team looking to make its back-to-back victories in to a true winning streak.

The Bulldogs already fell to the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Oklahoma City this season, but a nice non-conference consolation for Louisiana Tech would be a win over OU.

Oklahoma has had some time off since their last outing. The Sooners got a nice break from when they beat the Texas A&M Aggies in Houston, and while the Sooners won that game, they cannot afford to play as out-of-sync again.

OU had a rough time finding their rhythm in the first half against Texas A&M, but eventually everything came together for Lon Kruger’s squad. Against the Bulldogs, though? OU will have to be able to hit their shots.

The Bulldogs have only given up more than 80 points one time this season, which was in a loss to Louisiana-Lafayette. Oklahoma ranks in the top ten in the nation in points per game, but they are going to need to prove that mark tonight.

Cameron Clark is Oklahoma’s leading scorer, but he struggled against the Aggies. In order to avoid dropping this one, Clark is going to need a solid game, especially with the veterans Louisiana Tech boasts.

The Bulldogs return four starters from a 27-7 Louisiana Tech team last season, and age could be a huge factor. OU is big on their younger guys, and it will be interesting to see how they respond to a more experienced Louisiana Tech squad.

One glaring flaw for the Bulldogs is their free throw shooting. The team is shooting 64.5% from the charity stripe, ranking them 305h in the country. As we have seen this year in the college game, more and more fouls are being called. Louisiana Tech only has two players shooting over 70% from the free throw line, so if it comes down to the final minutes and fouling becomes a factor, OU could be at an advantage.

The players to watch for the Bulldogs include junior guard Raheem Appleby. He’s averaging 16.3 points a game, a team high. Also, sophomore guard Alex Hamilton is averaging 13.9 points and 3.7 rebounds. Senior forward Chris Anderson and junior forward Mchale Kyser are the team’s rebounding leaders.

Expect a battle between two contrasting teams, though, the home court definitely helps Oklahoma, who have been away from the Lloyd Noble Center since their December 17 game against the Texas-Arlington Mavericks.

Oklahoma and Louisiana Tech are scheduled for a 7 PM CST tip-off. The game will be televised on FS Oklahoma (Cox 37).

AROUND THE BIG 12:

  • The Texas Longhorns stomped the Rice Owls, 66-44, in their last non-conference game. Texas has the Sooners up next on the schedule.
  • Kansas hosts a 12-0 Toledo Rockets team tonight at 7. The Jayhawks will be at home, but did drop one at Lawrence against the Villanova Wildcats earlier in the year.
  • The sixth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys ends their non-conference slate with a 5-8 Robert Morris team. They’ll look to protect their perfect home record with a 6 PM CST tip.
  • The ninth-ranked Baylor Bears host Tulsa’s Oral Roberts University in Waco.

Topics: Basketball, Oklahoma Sooners

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