After a brief, two-game road trip against Iowa State and Missouri, the K-State men’s basketball team returns home to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers Saturday evening.
K-State (19-9, 7-6 Big 12 Conference) is coming off a tough 94-74 loss to the No. 11 Missouri Tigers on Wednesday night in Columbia, Mo.
During Wednesday’s game, the Wildcats were led by junior guard Denis Clemente with his 33 points, 22 of which he scored in the second half. He now leads the team in scoring with 15.3 points per game.
K-State, the top rebounding team in the Big 12, was out-rebounded by the Tigers 46-42. It was the first time since the Feb. 7 game against Texas A&M that the Wildcats were out-rebounded by their opponent.
“They dominated the glass,” sophomore guard Jacob Pullen said after the game. “They brought the intensity and wanted it more then us.”
In K-State’s last meeting with Nebraska on Jan. 17, the Wildcats loss 73-51 in Lincoln. Neb. The Cornhuskers were led by senior guard Paul Verlander with his game-high 20 points, which included him shooting 6-10 from behind the 3-point arc.
“They beat us by a lot last time,” Pullen said. “We just have to be more focused this time.”
Nebraska (16-10, 6-7 Big 12) comes into Manhattan on Saturday after losing 57-55 at home to the Texas A&M Aggies. The Cornhuskers are just 1-3 in their last four games.
During Tuesday’s game against the Aggies, Nebraska led by 13 points at halftime, but Texas A&M was able to chip away at the Cornhusker lead and was able to escape Lincoln, Neb., with a win on a Josh Carter 3-pointer with two seconds left in the game.
The Cornhuskers are led offensively by senior guards Ade Dagunduro and Steve Harley. Dagunduro leads the team with 12.2 points per game and with 4.2 rebounds per game. Harley is the only other Cornhusker to average in double-digit points with 10.5 per game.
But Nebraska’s total team offense is near the bottom of the Big 12 — 64.0 points per game. However, the Cornhuskers have the No. 1 ranked scoring defense in the conference; they are holding their opponents to just 58.6 points per game.
“We better be prepared to play Doc Saddler’s team at home on Saturday,” head coach Frank Martin said. “It’s the next game on the schedule and it’s the one that matters right now.”
Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.