Men's Basketball: Oklahoma Preview - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Men's Basketball: Oklahoma Preview

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MORGANTOWN -

West Virginia will play its first Big 12 conference game on Saturday when Oklahoma travels to Morgantown.

These two teams have already met once this season, but it was technically a non-conference game, so this will be the conference opener for both of them. The Sooners (9-3) came away with a 77-70 win in that first meeting.

That game was played at a neutral site, though. This one will be a home game for the Mountaineers (7-5), and they haven't lost any of their five games at the Coliseum this season. They also come into this game on a three-game winning streak, though all three games were close, and all three were against lesser competition.

Oklahoma comes in having won three of their last four, including wins over Ohio and Texas A&M, but the one loss did come to Stephen F. Austin.

Both of these teams have struggled all year with shooting percentage. Neither of Oklahoma's 41.8 percent or West Virginia's 40.5 percent rank in the top 200 shooting percentages in the country.

The scoring is pretty spread out among each team, as well. Juwan Staten leads all West Virginia scorers with 11.1 points per game, and Aaric Murray adds 10.7. Oklahoma gets 12.6 points from Romero Osby and 11.5 from Steven Pledger. Staten did lead the Mountaineers in their game against Oklahoma in November, but Amath M'Baye led the way with 19 for the Sooners.

In wins, West Virginia has done a nice job making up for poor shooting from the field with strong play on the boards. The Mountaineers are 6-2 when out-rebounding their opponents, but 1-3 when they're out-rebounded. In the loss to the Sooners, West Virginia was out-rebounded by Oklahoma, 38-36.

Murray leads the Mountaineers with 7.8 rebounds per game, which is three full rebounds ahead of Deniz Kilicli, who is second with 4.7. These two provide a lot of size inside for Bob Huggins, but Kilicli got off to a slow start to the year. He went five straight games scoring no more than six points before his ten-point effort against Eastern Kentucky last weekend. A performance similar to that would certainly help his team on Saturday against the Sooners.

This will just be the fourth all-time meeting between these two, with Oklahoma taking two of the first three. Before this season, they last played in 2007, with the Sooners winning in double overtime.

The game will tip at 4 pm and will be available on ESPN3 and the Big 12 Network. Check your local listings.

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