Oklahoma State goes for a tenth win in the non-conference finale on Friday at noon, hosting UT-Rio Grande Valley.
The Cowboys (9-2) roll out one of college basketball's toughest high-pressure defenses, and rank 19th nationally in defensive turnover percentage and 33rd nationally in defensive efficiency. On the other end of the floor, OSU is led offensively by senior wing Jeffrey Carroll (14.1 points per game), who is coming off his first double-double of the season.
The Vaqueros (6-7) know how to get to the free throw line, where they rank 15th in the country in makes. Senior guard Nick Dixon paces UT-RGV at 21.1 ppg and 39.3 percent three-point shooting. Dixon has scored in double figures in 15 consecutive games dating back to last year.
Carroll had 14 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday’s 71-59 home win against Tulsa. Kendall Smith led the Cowboys with 16 points.
Mike Boynton is getting Yankuba Sima plenty of minutes now that the transfer is eligible to play. Sima played 17 minutes on Tuesday after getting 16 in his debut against Florida State. The Pokes will stick with a small-ball starting five - Smith at point, three wings and Mitch Solomon in the middle - as long as the opponent doesn’t have two dominant bigs.
OSU opens Big 12 play against No. 10 West Virginia in a week, Dec. 29, in Gallagher-Iba Arena.