K-State Hammers Huskers in Lincoln

Kansas State withstand Nebraska runs and pick up only its' second-ever Big 12 win Lincoln. An impressive win on the road, K-State dominated this game from start to finish and made a statement.

LINCOLN, Neb--A Kansas State road win against the Huskers is about as uncommon as leaving Texas Tech with a victory or say, the NFL asking Janet and Michael Jackson to perform a duet at next year's Super Bowl.

The Wildcats beat the Red Raiders in Lubbock January 22nd.

The jury is still out on the halftime show, but two-out-of-three isn't bad.

Add another rare road win to the 2004-05 list as the No. 17 Kansas State Wildcats defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 94-69 in Lincoln Wednesday night.

Since the Big 12's inception, playing in the Bob Devaney Sports Center has served as a major pain in the backside for the Wildcats, who picked up only their second win in nine years.

Last season Nebraska pounded the Wildcats by 18 points however, Kansas State (19-6, 10-4) had the edge this time and exploited a Nebraska squad that played no more than 15 quality minutes of basketball.

The opening ten minutes of the first half saw both teams battling back and forth. The Huskers then scored five unanswered baskets while limiting seniors Laurie Koehn, Kendra Wecker and Megan Mahoney, "The Big Three," to a measly two points.

The second ten minutes of the first half was a different story. Tied at 17 the Wildcats' offense kicked into gear behind an 8-for-16 shooting performance by Koehn and sophomore guard Claire Coggins, including two consecutive Koehn 3-pointers with the half expiring.

"I think everyone got a lot of good looks tonight and that's because we were running our offense like we're capable of running it," said Koehn, who scored a season-high 22 points.

"When we're really sharing the ball and staying composed even against the kind of pressure Nebraska was giving us, that's when we're successful on offense."

Nebraska (16-10, 8-6) trailed by 20 to start the second half, a lead that Kansas State maintained until the Huskers' played their final five quality minutes.

It was in these five minutes that a smothering Husker defense forced three turnovers, the margin dropped to 14 and all 13,023 Nebraska faithful stood on their feet.

Mahoney wasn't surprised or rattled by the Nebraska run.

"We know they're a very blue-collar team. They're going to scrap and fight and claw to get back in it," Mahoney said.

"When they went on that little run, we huddled up and said, ‘take a deep breath, take care of the ball, we're OK.' You have to remember, you're still up by double-digits and you have to take care of the ball and focus and get good possessions on offense."

The Huskers had an opportunity to cut the lead to single digits with two free-throws and a lay-up by sophomore Kiera Hardy, who scored a team-high 21 points, but all three attempts rimmed out.

Kansas State withstood the Nebraska push and quickly erased it with a 7-0 run of its own beginning with Koehn's fourth 3-pointer of the night. That was all she wrote for the Big Red faithful who started heading towards the doors.

The Wildcats distributed the ball well, finishing with 21 assists and as a result, five players recorded in double-figures for the first time all season.

K-State Head Coach Deb Patterson said she loved the box score.

Kendra Wecker recorded her 48th career double-double and came within three assists of a triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Coggins snapped out of her offensive funk with 18 points on 4-for-8 from behind the arc. And seniors Megan Mahoney and Brie Madden added 12 and 13 points respectively.

"When we're playing our best it's because we're distributing the ball, playing with a great deal of discipline and moving the ball into a lot of hands," Patterson said. "And tonight, as you can see when that's happening, we're pretty good on the offensive end."

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