Oklahoma State and St. Bonaventure will meet on a neutral court Thursday, yet in an area of the country that has yielded each program success in recent seasons.
The teams are set to face off for the first time when they open the Legends Classic at Brooklyn, N.Y.
The winner of Thursday’s game opposes the winner of the nightcap between Auburn and Notre Dame in Friday night’s championship game.
Oklahoma State (1-1) bounced back from a season-opening upset at the hands of Abilene Christian by defeating visiting Sam Houston State 85-70 on Sunday afternoon. Host St. Bonaventure (1-1) absorbed its first loss Saturday by falling to Canisius 70-67.
Oklahoma State, which shot just 21.7 percent (5-of-23) from 3-point land in the loss to Abilene Christian on Nov. 6, rode red-hot outside shooting to get past Sam Houston State.
The Cowboys were 17-of-33 (51.5 percent) from beyond the arc Sunday, when Javon Small and Bryce Thompson each drained four 3-pointers. The 17 3-pointers tied a school record.
“I’d say we were just kind of a little bit more patient,” Thompson said, according to The Oklahoman. “I think we were just kind of going with what the defense was giving us and trying not to force as much.”
Oklahoma State, whose campus is more than 1,400 miles from Brooklyn, will be playing at Barclays Center for the first time since 2019, when the Cowboys won the NIT Season Tipoff with wins over Syracuse and Mississippi.
Trouble outside the arc on both ends of the floor doomed St. Bonaventure (1-1) on Saturday, when the Bonnies shot just 20 percent (4 of 20) from 3-point land while allowing Canisius to shoot 50 percent (12 of 24) from deep.
St. Bonaventure was 11 of 31 (35.5 percent) on 3-pointers in a 73-69 win over Longwood on Nov. 6, when it limited the Lancers to 17.6 percent shooting (3 of 17) from 3-point land.
“Give Canisius credit, you’re not going to beat many teams when you allow the opponent to shoot 12 (of) 24 from 3,” St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt said. “That’s a recipe for disaster.”
St. Bonaventure, a member of the Atlantic 10 located in upstate Olean, about 350 miles north of Brooklyn, is playing in the metro New York area for the second straight season. The Bonnies won the Gotham Classic by beating Notre Dame 63-51 at UBS Arena in Elmont, N.Y., on Nov. 25 of last year.
–Field Level Media
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