Both the Oklahoma State Cowboys and UTSA Roadrunners will be looking for their first win of the season when they square off at Oklahoma State’s Gallagher-Iba Arena on Wednesday night. The Cowboys are coming off a collapse against Charlotte in their opener. UTSA has fallen to St. Edwards and Oklahoma.
Winless through two games
UTSA fell 77-76 to Division II St. Edwards in its opener before succumbing to Oklahoma by 20 points on Monday. Keaton Wallace, a 6’3” guard who was a member of the Conference USA all-freshman team last season (11.4 points, 3.1 rebounds per game), shot just 12-of-38 in the first two games, including 6-of-24 from beyond the arc. Senior forward Nick Allen scored 15 points in each of the first two games, shooting 6-of-12 against the Sooners with a trio of three-pointers and four assists. The Roadrunners played both games without sophomore guard Jhivvan Jackson, the reigning Conference-USA Freshman of the Year, who averaged 18.4 points before injuring his knee last February.
— UTSA Basketball (@UTSAMBB) November 13, 2018
This a team that returns four staters from last season’s squad, so UTSA has plenty of experience.
Heartbreaker of an opener
Even with eight newcomers, including five freshmen, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton couldn’t find much solace after his Cowboys blew a 24-point lead in an opening 66-64 loss at Charlotte last Saturday. The Cowboys, who lost their three leading scorers from a season ago, grabbed the huge lead midway through the first half with a 25-2 run and led by 18 at the break. However, they watched the 49ers go on a 32-10 run over the final nine minutes and lost when Oklahoma State guard Lindy Waters III was called for a curious flagrant foul on Jon Davis, who made the free throws then banked in a three-pointer with 0.6 seconds left.
“There were some tears, and that’s a good thing,” Boynton noted. “That’s a sign that those kids care, and they want to win for Oklahoma State. They want to play the right way, and they were disappointed that we didn’t hold on, but we don’t want to have the mentality of holding on. We were good enough to get up 24. We should’ve been good enough to win the game.”
Junior forward Cameron McGriff led the way for the Cowboys against Charlotte, scoring 17 points and hitting all eight of his free-throws to go along with six rebounds. McGriff ranked 38th nationally in free-throw percentage (.865) last season. Junior guard Thomas Dziagwa knocked down five shots from the arc–which tied a career-high–en route to 15 points. Waters added 15 points, including 3-for-6 from deep, and three steals. Freshman guard Isaac Likekele, a consensus top-150 recruit got the start and contributed 13 points, three rebounds, and four assists.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last five overall
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games
- 7-1-1 Under in their last nine overall
The UTSA Roadrunners are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a loss
- 4-0 ATS in their last four games against teams with winning percentages under .400
- 5-1 ATS in their last six games against teams with losing records
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The loss after leading by 18 points at the half tied the all-time record for the Cowboys’ worst loss after leading at the break. UTSA juniors Byron Frohnen and Giovanni De Nicolao are projected to make their 71st consecutive starts on Wednesday against Oklahoma State. Frohnen has started at both the small and power forward positions, while De Nicolao has been running the show at point guard. The visitors have enough experience to keep this in single-digits against a reeling Oklahoma State team, even though an outright upset may not be in the cards.
Prediction: UTSA Roadrunners
Full-Game Total Pick
Oklahoma State could barely put the ball in the basket after taking its huge lead against Charlotte. UTSA is shooting just 40.1 percent from the floor through two outings. The under is 18-5 in the Roadrunners’ last 23 overall, 5-1 in their last six against opponents with winning percentages under .400, and 6-1 in their last seven following a loss. It is also 7-1-1 in the Cowboys’ last nine overall, 16-5 in their last 21 at home, 13-3 in their last 16 non-conference contests, and 6-1-1 in their last eight against Conference-USA. Look for this one to stay under the total.