This morning in the Kansas City Star, MU beat writer Mike DeArmond labeled this a game Missouri needs to win and Oklahoma State has to win. Probably a fair assessment.The Cowboys (14-7, 2-5) squandered a chance to get a road win Saturday at Texas Tech, losing by one point in overtime. Missouri (17-4, 3-3) was overmatched in its last game at Texas, though with Baylor’s loss to Oklahoma this afternoon, the Tigers have an opportunity to solidify their Top 4 position in conference.
The atmosphere in Stillwater will be a bit unconventional. Almost anyone interested in Big 12 basketball can probably look out his or her window right this moment and see snow. (We have 17 inches at Big 12 Basketball headquarters at the moment, and two of us plus a roommate braved the cold to walk 30 minutes to Arby’s this afternoon because it’s closer to the grocery store and we didn’t stock up on food as well as we did beer. Live and learn.)The Tigers had a bit of a complicated trip to Stillwater, but they made it in this afternoon. I don’t know how many of Oklahoma State’s fans live in OKC, Tulsa or elsewhere in the state, but I’d imagine they’ll have a tough time getting to Stillwater with all the snow on the ground.
To counter this, OSU offered free tickets to anyone for tonight’s game. I don’t know what demand is generally like for Okie State tickets, but I imagine a lot folks at the game tonight won’t be regulars. I expect a rowdy crowd full of students who have had a few days to hang out and not go to class and others who don’t see the Cowboys in person very often.
Actual basketball information: Keiton Page scored 26 against Texas Tech, but the Cowboys’ assist to turnover ratio left a lot to be desired. They’d do well to improve upon it for the Missouri game.
For the Tigers, the major question is whether or not Laurence Bowers will play. The junior forward left the Texas game early after a head injury from incidental contact. He is a critical asset, because Missouri does not rebound without him.
Even if Bowers is available, I suspect he won’t play a great deal of effective minutes. As long as Ricardo Ratliffe and the Missouri guards rebound a bit better than they did Saturday, it’s going to be tough for Okie State to get this important win.
Missouri 69, Oklahoma State 62