Huskers up to 30-0, advance to semifinal

Kansas City, Mo. - No. 3 Nebraska matched the Big 12 record for longest winning streak in conference history and snapped a four-game Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship losing streak by working its way to a 63-46 win over Kansas State on Friday at Municipal Auditorium.

Big 12 Player-of-the-Year Kelsey Griffin led Nebraska with 24 points and 10 rebounds for her 18th double-double of the season, while fellow first-team All-Big 12 senior forward Cory Montgomery added her second double-double of the year with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Nebraska's dominant inside game powered the Huskers to 30-0 overall, matching the 2004-05 and 2005-05 Baylor squads that stretched a 30-game winning streak over two seasons. NU also snapped a four-game Big 12 Tournament streak that dated back to a 67-59 win over Colorado in Dallas in 2006. Kansas State slipped to 14-18 on the year with its third loss to NU this season.

The Big 12 regular-season champion Huskers led by just one point at the half before Griffin and Montgomery combined for NU's first 16 points of the second half to push the margin to seven points.

Although the forwards dominated early in the half, it was a 14-2 Husker surge from the 10:42 mark to the 2:22 mark that put the ninth-seeded Wildcats away. During that spurt, the Huskers held KSU without a field goal, and Griffin did not score.

Junior forward Dominique Kelley gave the Huskers three players in double figures with 11 points, three rebounds and two assists, while first-team All-Big 12 guard Yvonne Turner managed six points, five rebounds and two steals, but hit just 1-of-7 shots from the field, including 0-of-5 threes.

Turner was not alone in her three-point struggles, as the Huskers hit just 1-of-21 three-point attempts in the game, including misses on their first 18 attempts until Montgomery hit a three to push NU's lead to 16 points.

Despite missing every outside shot, the Huskers still led Kansas State by 13 before Montgomery finally knocked one down.

"We believe you need to do a lot of things well to win in this league," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "We didn't shoot it well today, but we won the rebounding battle and we took care of the basketball and forced turnovers with our defense. Today, that was good enough to win."

Nebraska hit just 23-of-63 shots from the field (36.5 percent), but did connect on 16-of-19 free throws. The Huskers also outrebounded KSU, 40-39, including a plus-eight margin in the second half, while outscoring the Wildcats 19-2 on second-chance points. NU also forced 23 turnovers, while committing only 12 of its own.

Kansas State managed just 34.6 percent (18-52) shooting for the game against NU's pressure defense, including just 7-for-26 shooting in the second half. The Wildcats did hit 5-of-15 three-pointers, but just 5-of-9 free throws. Jalana Childs and Kari Kincaid each scored 10 points to lead KSU.

Top-seeded Nebraska will play the winner of Friday's second tournament game between fourth-seeded Texas A&M and fifth-seeded Texas on Saturday at Noon. Live national television coverage will be provided by Fox Sports Net.

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