Oklahoma State and Gonzaga have met five times previously, all since 2004.
And all won by the Bulldogs.
“It’s like a rivalry game now,” said OSU sophomore Kamari Murphy, who played against Gonzaga a year ago in Stillwater. “It should be interesting.”
For Cowboys senior Markel Brown, this will be his third game against the Zags.
“It gives it a different feel,” Brown said. “They know what we’re going to do. We know what they’re going to do.”
The Cowboys can only hope that the past tendencies don’t include another Gonzaga win.
Dec. 31, 2012: On New Year’s Eve in Gallagher-Iba Arena, Marcus Smart missed two free throws with :08.7 left and the Cowboys down 67-65, leading to an eventual 69-68 loss. It was a pairing of Top 25 teams, with the Bulldogs at No. 10 and OSU No. 22. Smart scored 23 points and almost willed his team to a comeback win. Kelly Olynyk struck for 21 points and nine rebounds in the second half to carry the Zags.
Dec. 31, 2010: In the first of a two-game series arranged by ESPN, Gonzaga rolled 73-52. Marshall Moses scored 17 points, but OSU’s other four starters – Keiton Page, Nick Sidorakis, Matt Pilgrim and Ray Penn – totaled but 13 points and missed 14 of 19 shots from the floor. Page missed much of the second half with a leg injury. Elias Harris and Robert Sacre combined for 38 points for the Zags.
Nov. 27, 2008: In Travis Ford’s first season, the unranked Cowboys hung with the No. 9 Zags at the Old Spice Classic before fading late. OSU trailed 67-63 with five minutes left, but Gonzaga used pressure defense to collect turnovers and spark a 16-8 surge to the end. Byron Eaton struggled, going just 2 of 15 from the floor and 1 of 7 at the foul line.
Dec. 10, 2005: The Cowboys led most of the game, but Adam Morrison banked in a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to lift No. 9 Gonzaga to a 64-62 win in Seattle. One of Eddie Sutton’s most inexperienced squads couldn’t hold on. The Cowboys led 60-54 with just under four minutes left and 62-61 when Mario Boggan missed a free throw on the front end of a one-and-one, setting up Morrison’s dramatic shot, part of his 25 points.
Dec. 28, 2004: Before a sellout crowd at the All-College Classic in Oklahoma City, No. 12 Gonzaga upset No. 3 OSU, 78-75. The Bulldogs dominated inside, hit 11 of their first 15 shots to build a big lead and held on in the second half. For the Cowboys, it was their first loss in 10 games to start the season.