Playing just its third home game of the season and first in two-and-a-half weeks, Oklahoma hosts Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday at 7 p.m. CT at Lloyd Noble Center. The Sooners, who are 2-0 at home, improved to 7-2 on the year with a 64-54 win over Texas A&M on Saturday in Oklahoma City. Stephen F. Austin is 7-1 on the year and 2-1 in road games. The Lumberjacks won 78-67 at home over Lubbock Christian on Saturday.
ON THE AIR
Tuesday's contest will air on the Sooner Radio Network (KOKC 1520 AM in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa) with Toby Rowland and Mike Houck calling the action. The game will be televised by Sooner Sports TV (FS Oklahoma and FOX College Sports Central) with Bob Carpenter, Brent Price and Jessica Coody announcing.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
• Tuesday's game will mark Oklahoma's third of the season at home. The Sooners played seven of their first nine games away from home; their most in 37 years (played eight of their first 10 away from home in 1975-76). West Virginia is the only other power-6 conference team to play just two home games so far.
• OU and Stephen F. Austin have met twice previously, with each team owning a victory. The Sooners won 88-55 in Norman in the 1980-81 season while the Lumberjacks posted a 66-62 win in Norman in 2007-08.
• The Sooners have won 36 straight non-conference home games and 94 of their last 96 such contests. Stephen F. Austin is the last non-conference team to beat OU at Lloyd Noble Center (Dec. 8, 2007).
• Oklahoma senior forward Romero Osby is averaging 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds over the last two games while shooting .667 from the field (14-for-21) and 1.000 from the free throw line (13-for-13).
• Stephen F. Austin is holding opponents to a .386 field goal mark. Four of Oklahoma's seven wins this season have come when it has shot less than .400 from the field.
• As of Monday, Oklahoma is ranked 16th in the CBSSports.com RPI (second best in Big 12 behind No. 9 Kansas). Stephen F. Austin entered the week at No. 27.
• After playing six games in a span of 13 days, Tuesday's contest against Stephen F. Austin will mark the second of two games in a 24-day stretch.
• Oklahoma has already won as many games away from home this year (5-2 record) as it did all of last season (4-11 record). The Sooners will play at least 10 more games away from Lloyd Noble Center this season.
• OU has played six games this year decided by seven points or fewer and has won five of them. Last year the Sooners finished 4-5 under the circumstance.
• The Sooners have exhibited a balanced offensive attack through nine games, with seven players averaging between 6.1 and 13.2 points per contest. Nine players average between 16.8 and 25.1 minutes per game. A Sooner has played at least 30 minutes in a game just six times this year.
• OU returned its top six scorers and 88 percent of its scoring from last season, but newcomers rank third, fourth, seventh and eighth in scoring average. The team's four newcomers have accounted for 40 percent of the team's points (248 of 614).
• Despite the fact that OU has registered only 1.6 fewer turnovers per game (118 total on the season) than its opponents (132), the Sooners own a 155-106 advantage in points off turnovers (17.2 to 11.8 per game).
• The Sooners' bench has been key, supplying 254 of the team's 614 points (41 percent). OU's reserves have been outscored just twice in nine games (vs. Gonzaga and Northwestern State). Two starters from last year (Cameron Clark and Sam Grooms) have come off the bench each of the first nine contests, while another, Andrew Fitzgerald, has come off the bench in eight games.
• Senior forward Romero Osbyleads the team in scoring (13.2 ppg), rebounding (6.9 rpg) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg) in just 23.9 minutes a contest. After being held to an average of 10.0 points on .333 (8-for-24) shooting over a three-game span, he broke out for a season-high 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting at Arkansas Dec. 4 and followed with a 19-point game against Texas A&M on Saturday (5-for-9 field goals). Osby, who is shooting a team-high .487 from the field and has made his last 13 free throw attempts, was named to the Old Spice Classic all-tourney team last month after averaging 12.3 points and 7.0 rebounds (shot .565 from the field). The transfer who played his first two seasons at Mississippi State is the Big 12's leading returning rebounder from last year (7.8 rpg). He leads the team with 6 charges taken this year.
• Senior guard Steven Pledger averages 10.1 points in a team-high 25.1 minutes a game. He ranks second in the Big 12 with his .417 3-point percentage (has made at least one in every game and has three games of at least three makes). The league's leading returning scorer from last year (16.2 ppg), Pledger continues to climb OU's career charts in scoring and 3-pointers. He ranks 28th in school history with 1,113 points and is tied with Tony Crocker for fourth with 196 career 3-pointers. He has started his last 41 games.
• Preseason Big 12 Rookie of the Year Amath M'Baye averages 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He had led OU in rebounding in each of the five games prior to Saturday's Texas A&M contest when he was held without a point (0-for-3 from the field) or rebound. He was averaging 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds over the four outings prior to Saturday. The junior forward scored a season-high 19 points in a win over West Virginia in the Old Spice Classic third-place game and was named Big 12 Rookie of the Week on Nov. 26.
• Freshman guard Buddy Hield has come off the bench in all nine games and ranks fourth on the team with his 8.9 points in 20.9 minutes per contest. The Freeport, Bahamas, native ranks third on the squad with his 3.4 rebounds a game. Fifty-five percent of his rebounds (17 of 31) have come on the offensive end. In his top two scoring games, all of his output came in one half. At UT Arlington on Nov. 16, Hield scored 17 first-half points. On Nov. 28 at Oral Roberts, he netted all 11 of his points in the game's final 13:28. On Saturday against Texas A&M, he scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half. Hield is 5-for-9 from 3-point range over the last three games.
• After scoring in single digits in each of the first eight games, junior guard/forward Cameron Clarkerupted for 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting in Saturday's win over Texas A&M. His previous season highs for field goals and attempts were three and six, respectively. Clark, who started 60 of 63 games and averaged 8.9 points in 30.4 minutes per contest over his first two seasons, is averaging 6.6 points in 17.0 minutes an outing this year. After shooting .238 from the field (5-for-21) in the first four games this year, he is shooting .633 since (19-for-30).
• Freshman guard Je'lon Hornbeak has contributed across the board in OU's first nine games, averaging 6.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and a team-high 1.4 steals in 23.0 minutes per game. He has started all nine contests (played point guard last game).
• A starter every game the last two years, senior forward Andrew Fitzgerald has come off the bench in eight of nine games this season. On the year, he averages 6.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 18.8 minutes an outing. He needs just 40 points to become the 39th member of OU's 1,000-point club.
• Senior point guard Sam Grooms started all 31 games last year, led the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8) and ranked second in assists (6.0 per game). He has come off the bench in every game this season and has racked up a team-high 24 assists against 10 turnovers (his 2.4 ratio would lead the league if he had enough assists to qualify in the category).
PREVIEWING STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
• Picked second out of 10 teams in the preseason Southland Conference coaches' poll, Stephen F. Austin enters Tuesday's game with a 7-1 record. The Lumberjacks won their first five games before losing at Texas A&M on Dec. 5, 62-54. They have won their last two contests, 73-46 over LSU-Shreveport and 78-67 over Lubbock Christian (both at home). SFA is 2-1 in true road games (beat Florida International 69-60 and Tulsa 57-41; lost to Texas A&M).
• A defensive juggernaut the last several years, Stephen F. Austin has ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense each of the last five seasons and enters the week ranked No. 1 this year (allowing 49.5 points a game). It boasts a 40-game streak of holding opponents under 70 points.
• SFA is averaging 68.6 points per game and is shooting .474 from the field, .314 from 3-point range (4.8 treys per game) and .592 from the free throw line. The Lumberjacks are holding their opponents to .386 field goal and .284 3-point shooting (3.9 treys per game). SFA has not been outrebounded by any of their last 18 opponents, and are +7.5 on the glass per game this season.
• Senior forward Taylor Smith leads the Lumberjacks with his 14.3 scoring and 7.3 rebounding averages. Smith, who ranks second nationally with his .689 field goal percentage but shoots just .364 from the free throw line (12-for-33), has 22 blocked shots on the year (next highest total on team is three) and has three games of at least four rejections (including each of last two contests).
• Senior guard Antonio Bostic averages 10.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest. He has totaled 6 points or fewer in four games, but has also posted point totals of 12, 14, 15 and 23 points. Bixby, Okla., product Jacob Parker contributes 9.4 points and 4.0 boards per game. The sophomore forward is shooting .566 from the field and .615 from 3-point range (8-for-13).
• Senior guard Hal Bateman ranks 11th in the country with his 6.9 assists per game. He has registered at least 10 assists twice this year, including 10 in the win at Tulsa on Nov. 24. Bateman averages 3.6 points in 26.9 minutes an outing.
• Danny Kaspar is in his 13th year as Stephen F. Austin's head coach and sports a 226-137 (.623) record. The 1978 North Texas graduate is in his 22nd season overall and owns a 445-190 (.702) career mark.
OU-STEPHEN F. AUSTIN SERIES HISTORY
Oklahoma and Stephen F. Austin have played twice previously, with each team winning once at Lloyd Noble Center. OU notched an 88-55 triumph on Jan. 7, 1981 (the largest victory margin ofBilly Tubbs' first season as OU's head coach). Five seasons ago (Dec. 8, 2007), the Lumberjacks posted a 66-62 win. OU trailed by five at halftime and never led after intermission. SFA held the Sooners to .400 field goal and .143 (2-for-14) 3-point shooting. It was just OU's second home non-conference loss in 60 games.
HOME COURT NON-CONFERENCE STREAK
Oklahoma has dominated home non-conference games over the last decade, winning 94 of its last 96 non-league contests inside Lloyd Noble Center going back to Jan. 3, 2000 (good for a .977 winning percentage). Included was a streak of 49 non-conference home victories that was snapped by Villanova on Dec. 6, 2006. The current string stands at 36 wins.
SATURDAY'S REXAS A&M RECAP
• Oklahoma forced an opponent-season-high 19 turnovers and outscored Texas A&M 20-9 off turnovers in a 64-54 All-College Classic win in Oklahoma City on Saturday. The Sooners limited the Aggies to 27 points in each half and posted their second largest victory margin of the season (largest since season-opening 85-51 win over ULM).
• With the score tied at 41, OU finished the game on a 23-13 run over the last 11:41. The Sooners led by as many as 14 late.
• OU won despite being held to a .389 field goal mark. The win was the Sooners' fourth this year when shooting below .400. OU shot a season-best .947 from the free throw line (18-for-19).
• Senior forward Romero Osby, who averaged 19.7 points in three games against Texas A&M last season, scored a game-high 19 points on 5-for-9 field goal and 9-for-9 free throw shooting. He also registered team highs of 7 rebounds and 2 blocks.
• Oklahoma's reserves outscored A&M's 33-13. Junior guard/forward Cameron Clark came off the bench to score a season-high 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting (earned game MVP honors), while freshman Buddy Hield contributed 12 points in a reserve role.
• Senior guard Steven Pledger also reached double figures in scoring with 10 points despite sitting the final 14:50 of the first half after picking up his second foul. He moved into 28th place on OU's all-time scoring list, passing Terry Stotts and Kevin Bookout.
• The Sooners were victorious despite getting no field goal production from three starters. Isaiah Cousins (0-for-4), Je'lon Hornbeak (0-for-6) and Amath M'Baye (0-for-3) combined to go 0-for-13 from the floor. They totaled 2 points (Hornbeak).