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Sooners, Cowboys Prep For Top 10 Opponents

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Oklahoma's Steven Pledger (left) and Oklahoma State's Keiton Page. (AP Photos) Oklahoma's Steven Pledger (left) and Oklahoma State's Keiton Page. (AP Photos)
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma and Oklahoma State men's basketball teams are preparing for not only another week of strong Big 12 play, but also to host two top 10 ranked opponents.

The Sooners are set to face the No. 2 ranked Baylor Bears on Tuesday.

Oklahoma (12-6, 2-4) looks to rebound from its overtime loss at Texas A&M Saturday.

01/21/12 Related Story: Texas A&M Outlasts Oklahoma In Overtime

The Sooners will face on the top offensive teams in the conference as Baylor ranks first in 3-point field goal percentage at 41 percent and second in points per game at 78.2 as well as in field goal percentage at 49.3 percent.

"They are very talented, the more you watch them the more you appreciate the talent," said OU head coach Lon Kruger. "They play great basketball."

The Bears are led by sophomore forward Perry Jones who holds the team high averages of 13.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 54.7 percent from the field.

Despite being the No. 2 team in the country, the Bears are looking to get back on track after ruining their undefeated season with two losses last week against top-10 opponents Kansas and Missouri.

OU is 9-1 at home this season and the Sooners are led by junior guard Steven Pledger who is averaging 17.2 points while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 43.6 from behind the arc.

"He is really shooting the ball well and he is starting to rebound the ball better, and is understanding that teams are going to focus on him and how much harder he has to work away from the ball to get open and all those things that come with the next step as a player," said Kruger.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys are prepping for a Wednesday matchup against the No. 6/7 ranked Missouri Tigers.

Oklahoma State has lost three-straight games including Saturday's 66-58 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats.

01/21/12 Related Story: Kansas State Outlasts Oklahoma State

The Cowboys (9-10, 2-4) will have their hands full trying to combat the Tiger offense who can shoot the long ball, as well as pound it in on the interior.

Missouri (18-1, 5-1) moved up to No. 2 in the country after an 89-88 over the previously No. 3 ranked Baylor. The Tigers only loss of the season came Jan. 7 against No. 22 ranked Kansas State.

"They are just very impressive," said OSU head coach Travis Ford. "A team that's obviously just a very veteran team and you can just see it on the court--there experience is just oozing off of them."

Senior guard Marcus Denmon is one of the leaders for MU averaging 17.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent from the field and 40 percent from long range.

"They can score at every position at a high, high level," said Ford. "You look at their stats and how balanced they are, that's probably what's gotten them the success they've had to this point."

OSU is led by senior guard Keiton Page who is averaging 14.9 points per game. The Cowboys have also seen improved play by freshman Le'Bryan Nash who averages 12.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest.

Oklahoma will take on Baylor Tuesday at 7 p.m. CT inside the Lloyd Noble Center, the game will be televised locally by the Big 12 Network.

OSU hosts the Tigers at 6:30 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally.

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