Know Your Opponent: Cowboys falling off the saddle

Kansas State center Abayomi Iyiola goes for a shot during the K-State men’s basketball game versus Oklahoma State in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 10, 2023. Kansas State won 65-57. (Archive photo by Nichole Maryse Harris | Collegian Media Group)

Editor’s note: Added an archive image as the post’s featured image.

No. 14 K-State 21-7 (9-6)

The Wildcats have sprung back onto the scene after a rough stretch. Kansas State has leveled up its game by defeating then-ranked No. 19 Iowa State and No. 9 Baylor. The Wildcats forced 28 turnovers and allowed neither opponent to shoot above 40%. Stars Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson spearheaded both victories, most recently with a Nowell double-double and 25 points from Johnson against Baylor. K-State hopes to gain momentum with their first road win since Jan. 7.

Oklahoma State 16-12 (7-8)

The Cowboys have dropped three games in a row after five straight wins. The defense is the main culprit, allowing over 90 points per game in the stretch. Defense has been Oklahoma State’s key to winning in the Big 12, allowing just 61.9 points in conference victories. On the offensive side, the team has been inconsistent and unreliable even with recent improvements. The one advantage the Cowboys hold outside of home court is an extra day of rest.


Matchup to Watch: Battle of the defenses

The Cowboys defense still allows the second-least points per game among Big 12 teams even with its recent poor play. The team has the opportunity to regain its flow against a Wildcat team that averages 13.3 turnovers per game. Averaging a conference-high five blocks per game, Oklahoma State specializes in protecting the rim, led by 7-foot-1 forward Moussa Cisse with 2.1 per game. If they can lock down the perimeter, it could cause issues for K-State if the Wildcats can’t score inside.

The Wildcat defense has played its best in the last two games. While the Cowboy offense shows improvement, K-State should hold its own, as it held the Baylor offense under 70 points for the first time since Jan. 28. Oklahoma State leading scorer Kalib Boone provides the only consistent threat for K-State to stop.


Key Players


Forward Nae’Qwan Tomlin

Guard Cam Carter

Oklahoma State:

Forward Kalib Boone

Forward Moussa Cisse


Prediction: K-State 67-61