MANHATTAN, Kan. – Nebraska used a decisive 17-1 run midway through the second half to highlight a strong second-half performance, as the Cornhuskers snapped a 7-game losing streak to Kansas State with a 62-46 win on Sunday afternoon in front of 10,206 fans at Bramlage Coliseum.
K-State (8-3) struggled mightily shooting the ball on the afternoon, as the Wildcats scored their fewest points since 2021 on just 26.7 percent (16-of-60) shooting, including 13.3 percent (4-of-30) from 3-point range. The offensive struggles were particularly stark in the second half, as the team scored just 12 points – the second fewest in a half in school history – on just 16.0 percent (4-of-25) shooting.
With the loss, K-State saw both its 5-game overall winning streak as well as its 15-game home non-conference winning streak end, as the Wildcats dropped their first game to Nebraska (9-2) since 2009, including their first at Bramlage Coliseum since 2006. It was just the second home loss under Tang and the first to a non-conference opponent.
On a day where neither team could get going offensively, it was the Cornhuskers who found a way in the second half, as they scored 11 of the first 15 points to start the half and take the lead for good on a jumper by junior forward Juwan Gary and a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Sam Hoiberg at the first media timeout with just over 15 minutes to play.
After a putback dunk by freshman Macaleab Rich closed the gap to 42-40 on the next possession, Nebraska took control of the game with the decisive 17-1 run that included 12 consecutive points before a timeout by Tang with 5:27 remaining. A layup by junior Cam Car
ter with 5:06 to play gave K-State its first field goal in more than 9 minutes since the Rich dunk at the 14:45 mark.
Overall, it was fewest points and lowest field goal percentage by a Jerome Tang-coached team and the lowest since scoring 41 points against Kansas on Feb. 17, 2021, and the lowest field goal percentage since connecting on 25 percent (14-of-56) in a loss at Oklahoma on Feb. 25, 2017.
Two Wildcats scored in double figures led by Carter’s 12 points. Carter added a career-best 3 blocked shots to go with 2 rebounds and 2 assists in nearly 37 minutes. Senior Tylor Perry added 11 points and a game-high 6 assists in 36 minutes of action.
Nebraska finished the game at just under 35 percent shooting with 11 of its 25 made field goals coming from 3-point range, as six different players had at least one triple.
Junior forward Rienk Mast led three Cornhuskers and two with double-doubles with a game-high 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Fellow junior forward Juwan Gary added the second double-double with 13 points and a game-high 18 rebounds. Junior guard Brice Williams nearly had a third double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds.
The contest ended a 3-game series between the former conference foes, as K-State won matchups in Lincoln in 2021 and Kansas City in 2022 before Sunday’s loss. The Wildcats still lead the all-time series, 128-94, which dates to 1906.
HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State jumped out quickly with a 5-0 start, including a 3-pointer from senior Tylor Perry, however, Nebraska got hot from 3-point range, knocking down 3 in a row as part of an 11-2 run to take an 11-7 lead into the first media timeout at the 15:23 mark.
The lead grew to 14-7 after a third 3-pointer by junior Rienk Mast before K-State rattled off 8 in a row to briefly take a 15-14 advantage after a jumper by freshman Dai Dai Ames. The Cornhuskers re-took the lead on back-to-back buckets before a 3-point play by junior Arthur Kaluma and a third 3-pointer from Perry gave the Wildcats a slight 21-20 edge into the third media timeout with 7:13 to play.
Mast continued his impressive half with an assist to sophomore Jamarques Lawrence on a layup out of the media timeout to return the advantage to Nebraska. The teams exchanged the lead over the next few minutes before a 6-0 run by K-State, including back-to-back baskets from freshman Macaleab Rich gave the home team a 28-25 lead at the last media timeout with 3:47 before halftime.
Junior Cam Carter gave the Wildcats a 31-25 advantage with a 3-pointer from the corner out of the media timeout then a 34-28 edge after a pair of free throws. The Cornhuskers closed the deficit to 34-31 at the half with their seventh 3-pointer of the half, including the second from senior Keisei Tominaga.
Both teams shot less than 40 percent in the first half, as Mast led all scorers with 11 points. Perry paced the Wildcats with 9 points and 4 assists, while Carter added 8 points.
Nebraska was strong coming out of the half, scoring the first 4 points to spark an 11-4 run, as the Cornhuskers took a 42-38 lead into the first media timeout at the 15:24 mark.
The visitors extended their lead to 47-40 after a 3-pointer by freshman Eli Rice and a layup by senior Josiah Allick near the 11-minute mark. The lead grew to 11 points at 52-41 before head coach Jerome Tang called a timeout with 9:06 to play. The timeout did little to break the Cornhuskers’ momentum, as they used a 7-0 run to push their lead to 59-41 and prompt another Tang timeout with 5:27 remaining.
Junior Cam Carter ended the Wildcats’ long drought with a layup with just over 5 minutes to play, but Nebraska answered with its 11th made 3-pointer of the afternoon to push back ahead by 19 points at 62-43. The only scoring the rest of the way came from the free throw line, as Carter knocked down a pair while Kaluma went 1-of-2 from the stripe.
HEAD COACH JEROME TANG
On the game…
“Well, first of all, thank you to our fans for showing up. I thought it was a terrific crowd. And the students that were around, I know it’s a sacrifice for them to be here and we greatly appreciate it. I told the guys before the game that for some of the fans that are here today, this might be the only game they get to see at Bramlage. For some of them it’s a Christmas present, for some it’s a sacrifice that they were able to buy the tickets, and so we really wanted to play well for them. And so there wasn’t a lack of motivation, it wasn’t a lack of focus, Nebraska just kicked our butt. In the second half they found a chink in the armor, and they took advantage of it. And we didn’t have an answer, and that’s on me as the coach, and so we will correct that. But I told the guys in the locker room after the game that there are four nights a year when it doesn’t matter what the other team does, they’re not gonna beat you. Like it’s just those nights. And there are four nights a year where it doesn’t matter what you do, you’re not going to beat that other team. And for the second 20 minutes, they shot 34 percent from two, 31 percent from three. They were 1-of-4 from the free throw line, so we didn’t put them at the line. We had 12 turnovers, which is one of our lows. I mean we’re undefeated with 11 or less. So, it just wasn’t our night. I would have never thought we’d go 0-of-12 (from 3-point range in the second half) because we were taking good shots. So, the credit goes to them for what they did to us, they wanted it more. They were tougher, more connected, better coached than we were tonight. And we’ll come back tomorrow and get 1 percent better.”
On if there was a letdown after a week off with no games…
“I mean, I didn’t think the first half was a letdown. So, I don’t want to blame it on that. I just say they were the hungrier team the last 20 minutes, and they executed what they wanted to do better than we were able to execute. So, the credit is to them. I thought we had three of our best practices leading up to this. But it’s okay because it’s part of the forging process. You look at it, you’re pounded, you’re grinded, you’re heated, you do all those things. And then you look at it and say okay, we still got some kinks there. We still have some stuff we have to work out. So, you got to go back to heating it and pounding it and grinding it again and it’s just gonna continue with this team.”
On the process of improving from a loss like this…
“Yeah, we’re gonna learn from it. We’re gonna watch the film and we’re going to learn from it. We’re going to come up with a different scheme for a pick-and-pop five, or when we switch the four-man, what we can do to help the guard rebound on the backside. And then we’re going to get back in the gym and shoot, that’s it. That’s how you get better, you just keep working at it.”
- K-State (8-3) saw its 5-game winning streak end in a 62-46 loss to Nebraska.
- The loss snapped a 7-game winning streak against the Cornhuskers.
- The loss snapped the Wildcats’ 15-game home non-conference winning streak.
- It was just the second home loss under head coach Jerome Tang, who fell to 21-2 all-time at Bramlage Coliseum, including the first in non-conference play since 2021.
- K-State is now 179-56 in non-conference play since 2006-07.
- K-State’s 46 points were the fewest under Tang and the fewest overall since scoring 41 against Kansas on Feb. 17, 2021… The 46 points were third fewest in Bramlage Coliseum history.
- The 12 second-half points were the second fewest in school history and lowest since scoring a school-record 11 at Oklahoma State on Jan. 6, 1992.
- K-State connected on 26.7 percent (16-of-60) from the field, which is the lowest under Tang and the lowest overall since hitting 25 percent (14-of-56) at Oklahoma on Feb. 25, 2017.
- K-State connected on just 16 percent (4-of-25) from the field in the second half, which ties for the third lowest in any half in school history and the lowest since also hitting on 16 percent (4-of-25) at TCU on Feb. 18, 2015.
- Nebraska out-rebounded K-State, 57-40, including 22 offensive rebounds which the Cornhuskers converted into a 16-12 advantage in second-chance points.
- K-State posted a season-high 9 blocked shots.
- Nebraska held the advantage in points off turnovers (8-4), points in the paint (28-22), second-chance points (16-12) and fast-break points (7-3).
- K-State started a lineup of senior Tylor Perry, junior Cam Carter, junior Arthur Kaluma and senior David N’Guessan and senior Will McNair Jr. … It marked the seventh time using this lineup… Carter has now started all 47 games in his K-State career… Carter, N’Guessan and Perry have started all 11 games… Kaluma and McNair earned their ninth starts, respectively.
- Two Wildcats scored in double figures, including a team-high 12 points from junior Cam Carter and 11 points from senior Tylor Perry.
- Carter scored his 12 points on 4-of-17 field goals, including 1-of-8 from 3-point range, while collecting a career-best 3 blocked shots in 37 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 19 career games, including 9 times in 2023-24.
- Perry posted 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-10 from 3-point range, to go with a game-high 6 assists in 36 minutes… He has now scored in double figures in 67 career games, including in 10 of 11 games this season… His 6 assists matched a season-high for the eighth time and sixth consecutive game.
- Senior Will McNair Jr. matched his career-high with 3 blocked shots.
K-State makes its annual trip to Kansas City for the Wildcat Classic, as the Wildcats play host to Wichita State (8-3) on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m., CT at the T-Mobile Center. Tickets are still available at kstatesports.com/tickets.