The Cowboys’ non-conference slate is about to get a lot tougher. After hosting Yale and Western Michigan, Oklahoma State will play a string of five consecutive games against top-100 teams with four Tier-A or Tier-B games during that span. Meanwhile, Yale is trying to rebound from its first loss of the year. Can the Bulldogs bounce back by covering the spread on the road in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon?
Yale falls short in second OT game of the seasonBoth of Yale’s first two games against D-I opponents this season have gone to overtime. The Bulldogs edged Stony Brook in the extra session in their season opener but were less fortunate in Monday’s game against San Francisco. Yale trailed for most the game and by as many as 16 points before battling back to force overtime behind a game-tying 3-pointer by Matthue Cotton with three seconds remaining in regulation. Paul Atkinson led the team with 22 points and eight rebounds while Cotton added 16 off the bench for Yale, which turned the ball over only eight times and shot 10-for-27 from 3-point range to take their first loss of the year.
James Jones’ squad enters the week ranked No. 140 in the latest KenPom rankings after their latest loss. Led by Atkinson (20 points per game), the Bulldogs come into the weekend scoring just 99.4 points per 100 possessions for the season (144th in the NCAA) despite turning the ball over on only 13.1 percent of their offensive possessions (15th in the NCAA). Yale has struggled to remain efficient from the floor, especially from inside the arc, where they are shooting a dismal 40 percent (325th in the NCAA) through three games. They have also failed to generate extra possessions on the offensive glass, as they’ve hauled in a meager 20.2 percent of their missed field goal attempts (323rd in the NCAA) so far this season.
On defense, Yale does a good job of staying home and forcing their opponents into difficult shots. The Bulldogs have surrendered 97.9 points per 100 possessions (150th in the NCAA) while holding opposing teams to an effective field goal percentage of only 41.3 percent (34th in the NCAA). Opponents have shot just 41.9 percent shooting from inside the arc (54th in the NCAA) and 26.9 percent from 3-point range (58th in the NCAA) against the Bulldogs’ defense through their first three contests.
Cowboys cruise to win over CharlestonOklahoma State trounced Charleston 73-54 on Wednesday evening to improve to 3-0 through their first three non-conference games. Senior guard Thomas Dziagwa scored 21 points to lead four Cowboys’ players in double-figures on the evening. Lindy Waters chipped in 16 for Oklahoma State, which turned the ball over only 11 times and held the Cougars to only 5-for-27 shooting from beyond the arc in the win.
Lindy Waters did all he could to keep #OKState in it. A 3 made it a 2-point game with 20 seconds left. And then he hit ANOTHER one to cut it to 1 w/ 8.5. And then after the controversy he did THIS. OT. #OKsTvsTTU @Heartland_CS pic.twitter.com/CAVou2dvDh— Matthew Postins (@PostinsPostcard) February 28, 2019
Mike Boyton’s squad enters the weekend slotted at No. 37 in the latest KenPom rankings following their undefeated start. According to KenPom, the Cowboys rank 30th in the nation in minutes continuity from last season (67.3 percent) and 40th in the country in average height (78.0 inches). They use their size and length to disrupt opponents and challenge shots on the defensive end of the floor. Through three games, Oklahoma State comes in allowing just 89.6 points per 100 possessions (40th in the NCAA) while holding teams to an effective field goal percentage of only 39.2 percent (15th in the NCAA). The Cowboys rank first in the nation in block rate at 24.2 percent and they’ve managed to limit their opponents to just 22.5 percent shooting from 3-point range (14th in the NCAA).
On offense, Oklahoma State has scored 105.6 points per 100 possessions (52nd in the NCAA) for the season. The Cowboys have four players averaging in double figures for the season, led by Isaac Likekele at 13.3 points per game. They rank just outside the top-100 in effective field goal percentage at 51.2 percent and are shooting 76.3 percent from the charity stripe as a team (57th in the NCAA).
- Cowboys are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- Cowboys are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Cowboys are 15-4 ATS in their last 19 Sunday games.