Mistakes didn't catch up to Oklahoma in its last game, but could spell doom for the Sooners when they close out their nonconference schedule on Monday at home against Louisiana Tech. Oklahoma collected its seventh straight victory - its longest winning streak in five seasons - with a 64-52 triumph over Texas A&M on Dec. 21 despite committing a season-high 22 turnovers. The Sooners, who rank ninth in the country in scoring, were held 24 points below their season average entering the game.
As Oklahoma prepares for Saturday's Big 12 opener at Texas, it figures to receive a stiff challenge from the Bulldogs, who rank 13th in Division I in forcing turnovers (17.1). Louisiana Tech is no stranger to facing top-10 offenses, having split a pair of contest against Northwestern State and Oklahoma State while holding both teams well below their season averages. The Bulldogs won for the fourth time in five tries on Dec. 22, routing Louisiana-Monroe 83-61 to improve to 6-2 away from home and 3-1 in true road games.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Oklahoma, Fox College Sports Central
ABOUT LOUISIANA TECH (10-3): The Bulldogs create chaos with their pressing defense (ninth in the country in steals with 9.8) and possess enough athleticism to cover up their mistakes (18th in blocks with 6.2). Kenneth Smith had two steals against the Warhawks - moving him into sole possession of ninth place in school history with 128 - and needs two more to tie Rennie Bailey for eighth. Junior Michale Kyser ranks third in Bulldog annals with 207 career blocks and is on pace to break Willie Simmons' school record of 268 before the end of the season.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (11-1): Jordan Woodard, who leads the Big 12 in free throw makes (72) and attempts (94), has consistently sparked the offense lately. The freshman guard is averaging 14.7 points while nailing half of his 3-pointers during their winning streak after tallying 8.6 points and shooting 18.2 percent beyond the arc during the team's 4-1 start. The Sooners have also pounded the glass over the last four contests, averaging 12 more rebounds than their opponents after posting a minus-0.7 mark over their first eight games.
1. Oklahoma, which is 8-0 all-time against Louisiana Tech, has scored at least 40 points in 20 of its 24 halves.
2. Kyser ranks third in the country with 4.2 blocks per game and has recorded at least three in 12 of the Bulldogs' 13 games this season.
3. Sooners F Ryan Spangler has six double-digit rebounding performances, one fewer than Oklahoma managed as a team last season.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 76, Louisiana Tech 70