LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -After a heart-wrenching overtime loss to archrival Kansas, Kansas State blew off some steam against Nebraska.
Denis Clemente matched his season high with five 3-pointers and scored 23 points to lead the 10th-ranked Wildcats to a 76-57 victory over the overmatched Cornhuskers on Tuesday night.
It was Kansas State's most lopsided Big 12 road win since the conference's inception in 1996-97 and its most one-sided win in Lincoln since 1973.
The victory took some of the edge off Saturday's 81-79 overtime home loss to a Kansas team that moved from No. 2 to No. 1 in The Associated Press poll.
``It was a tough loss, and we've still got it in our system a little bit,' said Kansas State reserve forward Jamar Samuels, who had 15 points and nine rebounds. ``We felt we should have won that game, so we came in here and won this one.'
The Wildcats (18-4, 5-3) were far superior athletically to the Huskers, who lost their first five Big 12 games before beating Oklahoma on Saturday.
The Wildcats had a double-digit lead 9 minutes into the game and never led by fewer than seven points the rest of the way.
Nebraska made a mini-run at the Wildcats, scoring seven straight points to pull within 42-35 early in the second half. After coach Frank Martin called a timeout, Clemente hit three straight 3-pointers and K-State rebuilt its lead to 53-37.
``We were tentative a little bit and then we got it back under control,' Clemente said. ``We controlled the game from the tipoff. We controlled the whole game. That's what we've got to do every game.'
Martin said he didn't say much to his players during the timeout, preferring to let them ``police themselves.'
``You have to trust your team,' Martin said. ``When you've got upperclassmen who have been through it, they rebound. The best elixir for a loss is another game. Our guys approached it the right way. To their credit, they responded like champs.'
Clemente came into the game shooting just 29.6 percent on 3-pointers but went 5 of 9 against the Huskers.
``I've been working hard this whole year,' he said. ``I don't know why they haven't been falling. I kept believing in myself and doing what I've been doing. Today was the day. I have to keep going this way.'
Jacob Pullen had 13 points and Curtis Kelly added 12 for the Wildcats.
Jorge Brian Diaz had 13 points and Ryan Anderson 10 for Nebraska (13-9, 1-6).
Nebraska lost for the 13th time in 18 games against ranked opponents under fourth-year coach Doc Sadler. The Huskers play at No. 1 Kansas on Saturday in the second of five straight games against Top 25 teams.
The Huskers struggled mightily in the first half against the more athletic Wildcats, missing five layups and a dunk and having three other shots blocked.
``I think we missed some awfully easy baskets, and that's what a lot of people are going to look at,' Sadler said. ``And the defensive end was horrendous. They made us make mistakes that are as basic as it gets. We're jumping out on the baseline screens and giving up dunks. I've never seen that. Maybe we were trying too hard.'
Anderson shook his right fist in disgust after one of his passes sailed out of bounds untouched because Christian Standhardinger cut the wrong way, one of the Huskers' 16 turnovers.
Nebraska scored just one field goal in the 6 1/2 minutes before halftime, and that appeared to be by accident. Standhardinger was preparing to rebound Brandon Ubel's short shot when the ball glanced off his hands and went through the hoop.
While Clemente roamed mostly free behind the 3-point line, Samuels and Sutton had their way inside.
They got behind Nebraska's press for a couple of easy baskets, and they outmaneuvered the Huskers' big men for big dunks.
``We're eight games into a 16-game season,' Martin said. ``We're happy with what we got done here today. The same way we didn't attach ourselves to a hard loss Saturday, we're not going to attach ourselves to a good road win today.'
The Associated Press News Service
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