Cowboy basketball renewing rivalry with Nebraska in Sioux Falls

Jimmy Gillispie/Stillwater News PressOklahoma State men's basketball coach Mike Boynton finished his first year as the Cowboys coach last month. It was an up and down year for the first-year head coach, but it was an enjoyable one for the Brooklyn, New York, native.

Coach Mike Boynton has announced that the Oklahoma State men's basketball team will square off against former Big Eight and Big 12 rival Nebraska at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Dec. 16.

The game will mark OSU’s second trip to the unique venue, which has hosted 23 NCAA Division I games since opening in 2013. In the last trip to the Pentagon, the Cowboys took down Minnesota, 62-60, on Dec. 12, 2015 thanks to Jeffrey Carroll’s team-high 12 points, which included a pair of free throws with 7 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

“We are excited to re-engage with an old conference opponent in such a great venue,” Boynton said. “Nebraska has a strong basketball program and coach Miles has done great work in the last few seasons of re-establishing high expectations in Lincoln. We appreciate the Sanford Pentagon group for working with us to make this happen and are looking forward to competing.”

This will be the 118th hardwood meeting between OSU and Nebraska, but the first since the Huskers moved to the Big Ten Conference following the 2011 season. Nebraska holds a 63-54 lead in the overall series, although the Cowboys won five of the last six matchups.

Nebraska is coming off a 22-11 season, which included an NIT berth, and returns five players who made at least 13 starts. The returnees are led by preseason All-America candidate James Palmer Jr., who led the Huskers and was fifth in the Big Ten in scoring at 17.2 points per game while also averaging 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

"I am excited to get two old conference foes together again," said Nebraska coach Tim Miles. "I think these games are important, and they drive local interest on both sides. Coach Boynton did a tremendous job in his first year getting that team to the NIT. He took over in very difficult circumstances and for him to rebound, have such great energy and such a great attitude says a lot about him as a coach. He is the type of guy I like to compete against.”

The Cowboys are coming off a 21-15 campaign with Boynton that included six wins over top-25 opponents, including a school-record four wins over top-10 squads. OSU became the first team since 2003 to earn a regular-season sweep over Kansas, and had four victories over teams in the 2018 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.

Tickets to the game go on sale at 10 a.m. on Sept. 7. Television coverage will be announced at a later date, and will determine the tip time.

The Sanford Pentagon is the cornerstone of the Sanford Sports Complex in Sioux Falls. It is a 160,000-square-foot, five-sided facility featuring nine basketball courts, including the 1950s/1960s-inspired Heritage Court.

The venue combines state-of-the-art amenities – including high-definition video boards and executive suites – with period-specific finishes that are a nod to the nostalgic days of basketball.

The 3,200-seat Pentagon is home to Sanford POWER Basketball Academy, Sanford POWER Volleyball Academy, the NBA G-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Women’s and Men’s Basketball tournaments and the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame. For more information, visit sanfordpentagon.com.

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