Home-court advantage and roster depth has proven quite successful for Oklahoma State and first-year coach Mike Boynton. The Cowboys seek a sixth straight win at home to start the season when road-weary Mississippi Valley State visits Sunday.
Oklahoma State won its 14th straight non-conference home game with a 79-63 win over Austin Peay on Wednesday night behind 17 points from Jeffrey Carroll, 12 from Tavarius Shine and 11 off the bench from Thomas Dziagwa. In Gallagher-Iba Arena this year, the Cowboys have held each of their five opponents under 40-percent shooting and boast an average scoring margin of plus-27. Through seven games, five different players have led the team in scoring and six different players have led in rebounding, and nobody has played more than 27 minutes. Nine Cowboys average at least 6.6 points per game and six players average at least 4.9 rebounds per game, and none of them play more than 25.3 minutes.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, FSN Oklahoma
ABOUT MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE (0-7): The Delta Devils fell 83-70 at Samford last Sunday despite 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting from Dante Scott and 13 points from Nate Nahimy. The 6-4 Scott, a junior college transfer from Howard College (Tex.), leads the team in scoring at 10 points per game and ranks second in rebounds at 4.7. Junior Tyreke Eckwood averages 9.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and a team-high 2.7 assists. The Delta Devils score 57.9 points - second-to-last in Division I - on 38 percent shooting while surrendering 80.6 points on 51 percent shooting.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (6-1): Dziagwa is 23-of-41 (.561) from 3-point range this year, which ranks fourth among all NCAA Division I players with at least 40 attempts (tops in the Big 12). Carroll leads the team in scoring (15.8 points) and rebounding (6.3), while the two-headed point guard tandem of Kendall Smith (10.3 points, 3.1 assists) and Brandon Averette (9.9, 4.0) combine for 20.2 points and 7.1 assists. The Cowboys force 15.9 turnovers per game, including a season-high 20 against Austin Peay, and rank 30th nationally by giving up just 62.3 points per game.
1. Oklahoma State leads the all-time series 2-0 and is 25-0 all-time against teams from the Southwest Athletic Conference.
2. Mississippi Valley State’s athletic budget ranks last of 351 schools that play Division I basketball, which is why the Delta Devils started last season with 14 consecutive games away from home - all losses - and this season with 13.
3. Mississippi Valley State hasn’t recorded double-digit wins in a season since playing in the NCAA Tournament in 2011-12 and has dropped all seven games this season, each by double figures.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma State 93, Mississippi Valley State 61