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Oklahoma State Basketball

Cowboys Prepare for Salty Texas Tech Team

February 22, 2021
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STILLWATER – After another unplanned, yet well-deserved week off in the middle of the season, Oklahoma State is preparing to take on Texas Tech Monday night in GIA.

15/11 Texas Tech (14-7, 6-6) at RV/22 Oklahoma State (14-6, 7-6)
Date: Feb. 22, 2021
Tipoff: 8 p.m. CT
Site: Gallagher-Iba Arena (13,611)
Series: OSU leads 46-23 overall (24-5 in Stillwater)
Last: OSU won 82-77 in OT on Jan. 2 in Lubbock
TV: ESPN (Jon Sciambi, Fran Fraschilla)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb)
Satellite Radio: XM 375 (OSU call)

The Cowboys were supposed to play Baylor over the weekend, but that game was a part of the six-straight games the Bears had to postpone/cancel due to COVID precautions.

This is the second of two games between the Pokes and Red Raiders this season with the Pokes going to Lubbock and upsetting then No. 13 Tech 82-77 in overtime. There was a two week break before the first game against Tech and the Pokes came out strong. Mike Boynton was asked if this break was just as beneficial to the team as the first one.

“The only thing is it’s such a different time of year,” coach Boynton said of the time off before Tech. “Both teams have evolved, so there’s some similarities in terms of the extra time off to prepare, but at the same time we know that everybody’s fighting for their lives this year. They’re fighting for positioning and trying to see who can make sure they’re playing the best version of basketball that they’re capable of here in late February.”

The Cowboys are coming off a 76-58 win over Iowa State this past Tuesday and Tech is coming off a knock-down drag-out 67-61 loss to Kansas on Saturday. That was their first game back after missing three-straight due to COVID-precautions. February’s been a difficult month for Tech, as it has been for most teams, as they opened the month with a 57-52 win over Oklahoma, then an easy win over K-State, a narrow 82-71 road loss to West Virginia, then missed three games and then a loss to Kansas.

“I think they’ve kind of established – you always kind of wonder about them defensively. You always worry about how hard they’re going to be to score on, but they’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with their rotation in terms of who’s getting shots, where they’re getting them from. [Mac] McClung’s always a load to deal with. Kevin McCullar was just coming back when we played them the first time, Terrance Shannon was still starting at the time when we played them; he’s coming off the bench here lately. So, they just kind of move the pieces around to make the unit work as best as possible, which is what good coaches do and obviously Chris Beard is one of the best in the country.”

McClung is leading the Red Raiders in scoring with 16.9 points per game, as well as in overall 3-pointers made on the season with 38. As for McCullar, he’s worked his way back to 10.6 points per game this season, as well as leading the team with 6.8 rebounds a game.

Some good news on the home front for the Pokes is about point guard Isaac Likekele. Boynton and Co. held him out the past few games so he could heal a foot ailment that’s been bothering him since January.

“If I were betting, today’s Friday, I think [Isaac Likekele’s] going to be ready to go Monday,” said coach Boynton. “He practiced [Thursday] about 75% and [Friday] he went about 80%. We’ve got a couple of more days to get him up to speed; I would think he’d be ready to go come Monday.”

There’s no question this game is going to be a difficult out for both teams as they’re both playing really good basketball right now. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.

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Cowboys Prepare for Salty Texas Tech Team

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