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Fire meets fire: Bedlam pairs 2 win streaks against each other

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Avery Anderson

Avery Anderson passes the ball during Oklahoma State Men's Basketball victory over Arkansas on January 30, 2021 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

After Oklahoma State’s overtime upset win over No. 18 Texas Tech, coach Mike Boynton ran into the Cowboys locker room, jumped onto a chair and was showered with Propel.

That scene describes the emotions and energy the Cowboys are carrying into a date with in-state rival Oklahoma on Saturday for the first of two Bedlam meetings in a three-day stretch.

“A whole lot of (momentum built from the win),” Avery Anderson said. “It brings a lot of energy to the team, and now that it’s Bedlam, it’s going to bring even more energy. The preparation has to start in practice, and we’ll take it day-by-day.”

Boynton doesn’t want the team to be caught up in the win because the Sooners present a different kind of test for the Cowboys. The week of preparation leading up to the highly-awaited Bedlam matchup will be crucial to the performance when the game rolls around.

“Momentum isn’t a word that I love, I get the sentiment, but your momentum is only as good as your preparation,” Boynton said. “What we’ve got to do is understand (is) Saturday’s game will be much different than (Monday’s).”

In the state, Bedlam has even more of an importance, especially for Kalib Boone, who grew up watching both teams play. Boone, who is in the midst of a breakout season, knows this game is even bigger than a normal Big 12 game.

“These two games are going to mean a lot, honestly,” Boone said. “That game means a lot more to me than anything. I play this game for coach (Eddie) Sutton because I know how much he loves this rivalry.”

Boone has made an impact on the glass for the Cowboys, especially in key moments. He’s grabbed game-sealing rebounds against Texas and crucial rebounds down the stretch in overtime in Monday’s win over Texas Tech.

In a game with heightened importance for him, and an OU team that plays smaller such as the Cowboys, Boone’s rebounding could play a crucial role in the Bedlam outcome.

“Honestly, it's just me playing hard these last few games,” Boone said. “My success, like on the glass and everything, it's just me playing hard and putting myself in position to rebound. I trust my teammates are going to make the right plays and everything, I always believe they're going to make the shot, but then again, I have to put myself in position just in case.”

The Sooners enter Bedlam as one of the hottest teams in the country led by Coach of the Year Candidate Lon Kruger. The Sooners have won eight of their last nine games and have skyrocketed up to No. 7 in the AP poll.

“They’ve played really well over the last five or six weeks, so it’s going to be a battle,” Boynton said. “We have to be our best in order to give ourselves a chance. We’ve got a lot of respect for them, but we don’t like them, so we’re going to go down there and compete at a high level.”