OSU must find way to fend off road-savvy Texas

If the Oklahoma State basketball team is to help its NCAA Tournament chances, it'll have to do it by protecting home court against a Texas team with wins on the road vs. Michigan State, Kansas and North Carolina.
BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Modified: January 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm •  Published: January 25, 2011

Reasonable Big 12 basketball wisdom suggests NCAA Tournament hopefuls protect the home floor at all times.

Even when home wreckers like the No. 7-ranked Texas Longhorns barge through the door.

For an Oklahoma State squad so far flimsy on the road and seemingly bound for a season-long ride along the NCAA bubble, finding some way – any way – to fend off Texas seems wise.

“They've got a lot of weapons,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford. “They're one of the top two or three teams I've seen play all year long. Seems like they have great team chemistry. And they look like a hungry basketball team, a team that's very driven right now.”

The Cowboys do have strengths to lean on tonight when the No. 7-ranked Longhorns pay visit to Stillwater for a 6:30 start set for ESPN.

OSU's best moments have come inside Gallagher-Iba Arena, where the Pokes are 9-0 overall and 2-0 in the conference. The crowd should be the biggest this season; and an emotion-filled gathering, at that, amid “Remember the 10” salutes and tributes in advance of Thursday's 10th anniversary of the 2001 plane crash.

These Horns, however, aren't easily intimidated.

Already, they've beaten North Carolina in Greensboro and won big at Michigan State and Texas Tech. And those were only the setup to Saturday, when Texas shoved aside the ghosts of the Phog, ending Kansas' 69-game winning streak at Allen Field House.

Cleary, these Horns don't scare easily.

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OKLAHOMA STATE VS. TEXAS

When: 6:30 p.m. today.

Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater.

Radio: KXXY 96.1 FM.

TV: ESPN

Three things to know:

1. The Longhorns ended KU's 69-game home winning streak on Saturday, after snapping Michigan State's 52-game home streak against nonconference foes earlier in the season.

2. J'Covan Brown gives Texas a major scoring threat off the bench. A former starter, Brown scored a game-high 23 points in the upset of the Jayhawks.

3. Since losing to Texas at home a year ago, the Cowboys have won 13 in a row inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

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