MANHATTAN, Kan. - Ashley Sweat scored 24 points in her final home game but Kelly Griffin's 36 paced Nebraska as the No. 3 Huskers used a strong second-half performance to defeat Kansas State, 82-72, Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum.
With the loss, Kansas State fell to 13-17 on the season and 5-11 in Big 12 play, while Nebraska remained undefeated at 29-0 and 16-0.
On senior day in Manhattan, Sweat led the charge with her 24 points, while fellow senior Kari Kincaid had seven points and three assists in her final home game. Taelor Karr poured in 16 points on the afternoon and Brittany Chambers had 13, while Branshea Brown had a solid performance with seven points and 11 rebounds.
K-State matched Nebraska step for step in the first half and surged to the lead heading into the half. The two teams battled back and forth early in the first 20 minutes as a Kincaid to Sweat layup tied the game at eight four minutes into the contest.
The Cats grabbed their first lead of the contest at the 11:26 mark as Sweat knocked down a three to give K-State an 18-17 lead. Consecutive three-pointers from Sweat and Karr extended the lead to 24-17 as K-State connected on four of its first five three-point field goals in the contest.
With the Cats holding a 27-21 advantage, the Huskers battled back to score four straight and eventually tied the game at 29 with 5:36 left. But the Wildcats would answer and bump their lead to as many as 11 at 40-29 following a Chambers three and a Brown free throw with 3:30 remaining.
Nebraska closed the gap to seven at the half as K-State held on to a 45-38 advantage, the most points the Huskers had surrendered in a first half this season. The Wildcats connected on 8-of-12 three pointers in the first 20 minutes and also converted a season-high 15 fast-break points.
The Huskers scored the first 11 points of the second half to take a 49-45 lead until a Karr three stopped the run. Nebraska extended its lead to 60-52 as the Huskers out-scored K-State, 22-7, to open the half but the Wildcats would only get as close as six the rest of the way.
The Wildcats connected on just 34 percent of their field goals in the second half, while Nebraska capitalized on 16 K-State turnovers for 24 total points.
K-State next heads to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Mo. The Wildcats will open the tournament on Thursday at a time to be determined.