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Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. both on bubble entering Bedlam rematch

Oklahoma Sooners guard Grant Sherfield (25) attempts a shot during a men's Bedlam college basketball game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

Men S Bedlam Basketball

Both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma come into Wednesday’s Bedlam matchup in Norman, Okla., riding a high.

For Oklahoma State (12-9, 3-5 Big 12), the positive momentum is borne out of recent sustained success.

The Cowboys are 3-1 in their last four, including a 72-56 win over Oklahoma on Jan. 18 and a 61-59 upset of then-No. 12 Iowa State.

For the Sooners (12-9, 2-6), the momentum is centered around their most recent result — a resounding 93-69 blowout of then-No. 2 Alabama at home Saturday.

Wednesday’s matchup is critical for both teams’ NCAA Tournament hopes as both enter February on the bubble.

“All Coach (Mike) Boynton teams, we always get better at the end,” Cowboys guard Avery Anderson said. “We’re starting to find our juice and what players do what and how we really get wins when it’s time to get it in crunch time.”

Oklahoma State is hoping that carries through the end of the season.

Recently, it’s certainly been the case late in games.

Over their last four games, the Cowboys have been outscored by a net of 13 points in the first half. After halftime, Oklahoma State outscored opponents by a combined 39.

In the first meeting between the teams, Sooners leading scorer Grant Sherfield scored 15 first-half points to help Oklahoma build a 30-24 lead at the break.

But Sherfield was held scoreless in the second half and didn’t score after halftime in the Sooners’ next two games, either.

In the win over the Crimson Tide, Sherfield scored 12 of his season-high 30 points after halftime.

“I saw a bounce in his step,” Oklahoma coach Porter Moser said. “He was playing with joy, and he had a pace to him. He was playing both ends.”

Now that the Sooners’ three-game losing streak is over, they’ll try to break through for their first Big 12 win since Jan. 14.

The Cowboys are hoping 7-foot-1 center Moussa Cisse will be closer to normal after Cisse played just two minutes in the first meeting with the Sooners.

Cisse has been dealing with an ankle injury since Jan. 1, and had one point, a block, four rebounds and an assist in eight minutes in Saturday’s win.

“I’d say he’s getting back to his old self,” Anderson said.

–Field Level Media