Mountaineers, Oklahoma set to meet today

MORGANTOWN -The preliminaries are over for West Virginia University’s men’s basketball team.

Today starts the main event for the Mountaineers, who open Big 12 play by entertaining Oklahoma in a 4 p.m. contest at the Coliseum.

This will be the second meeting of the season between the Mountaineers and Sooners. The first took place on Nov. 25 in the third place game of the Old Spice Classic at Buena Vista, Fla., a game that saw Oklahoma take a 34-22 lead and nurse it the rest of the way for a 77-60 win. The game marked only the second time in Big 12 history two league members have met in a regular season game that didn’t count in the conference standings.

Obviously, today’s game counts so it is WVU’s official Big 12 debut. The Mountaineers enter with a 7-5 mark. The only other Big 12 team to suffer five losses thus far is 8-5 Texas,. Oklahoma enters the game with a 9-3 mark.

WVU is led in scoring by guard Juwan Staten who is averaging 11.1 points per contest. He’s also the team leader in assists. Center Aaric Murray is the Mountaineers’ only other double-digit scorer, scoring at 10.7 points per game clip. Murray also is the teams top rebounder.

Oklahoma also has just two players averaging in double digits. Leading the way for the Soooners is 6-8 forward Romero Osby, tops on the team with 12.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Steven Pledger, a 6-4 guard, scores 11.5 points per contest.

In its only game against a ranked team, Oklahoma lost at Gonzaga, 72-47. West Virginia had made its debut at Gonzaga and lost, 84-50. Among the Sooners’ wins is a 74-63 triumph over Ohio University.