Husker defense prevails, leads to K-State road loss


K-State could not connect on opportunities late in the game Wednesday, as the Wildcats dropped their fourth consecutive road game at the hands of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 52-47, in Lincoln, Neb.

Both teams suffered a poor shooting night. However, the Cornhusker defense prevailed as the Wildcats struggled to move the ball to their post players, forcing them to settle for outside shots.

K-State suffered a shooting drought at the four-minute mark, missing seven consecutive shots before junior forward Ashley Sweat hit a jumper with nine seconds remaining in the game.

“It’s just disappointing to finally be in the game and get better looks and do a good job of moving the basketball and just flat out miss,” said associate head coach Kamie Ethridge. “The right people were taking the shots and we just missed the shots.”

The Wildcats struggled just as much from the 3-point line, missing three consecutive attempts with less than four minutes to play. K-State finished the game shooting an abysmal 17 percent from the 3-point line on 17 shot attempts.

Senior point guard and Wooden Award Candidate Shalee Lehning made her return to the court after missing three games with a mononucleosis infection. Lehning played 14 minutes and finished the night with three rebounds and two assists; however, she did not score.

The Wildcats led the contest at halftime 22-21 after Kari Kincaid made two free throws. Kincaid played all 40 minutes of the game and finished with six points.

K-State could not maintain its lead in the second half as the Cats failed to overcome their first-half shooting woes.

Senior guard Kelsey Nelson continued to provide productive play off the bench for the Wildcats, registering 12 points and eight rebounds.

“Kelsey Nelson has really stepped it up and tried to really help us in ball handling and attacking the rim and trying to do everything that we ask her to do,” Ethridge said. “The rebounds are unbelievable for her and she played a lot of post defense tonight and really had a good game.”

Despite the loss, the Wildcats remain in fourth place in the Big 12 as they head into a pivotal home game this week against third-place Texas A&M. The Wildcats will host the Aggies on Sunday with tipoff set for noon.

“It’s an unbelievable Texas A&M team that will be coming in, so we need a great show of purple and fans,” Ethridge said.