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K-State edges Nebraska
spt ap KState Pullen
Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen (0) breaks into the lane past Nebraska guard Drake Beranek (31) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Manhattan. Kansas State defeated Nebraska 69-53. - photo by AP Photo

MANHATTAN (AP) — With Bramlage Coliseum silent for Jacob Pullen’s free throws, a Nebraska fan took the opportunity to scream, “Shave your beard!”
There may have been times in a frustrating season when Pullen and the Wildcats would have been willing to do anything — maybe even remove trademark facial hair — to change their fortunes. But that was not the case on Wednesday night, as Kansas State cruised past Nebraska 69-53.
“I feel bad we haven’t had the success we wanted this season,” Kansas State coach Frank Martin said. “It’s coming.”
Pullen scored 18 points and Curtis Kelly had 16 to lead Kansas State (15-8, 3-5 Big 12). Rodney McGruder added 10.
Lance Jeter had 16 points to lead Nebraska (15-6, 3-4), and Jorge Brian Diaz had 10.
The Cornhuskers, who fell to 0-4 in road games, were plagued by a season-high 22 turnovers.
Martin was happy about the number, saying, “Our attention to detail defensively was big time.”
Nebraska coach Doc Sadler was not nearly as happy.
“It was the worst effort we’ve had,” Sadler said, searching for the correct comparison, “since the Oklahoma game my first year (2006-07).”
Kansas State took control of the game late in the first half, going on a 9-0 run and holding Nebraska without a field goal for more than 5½ minutes. Pullen capped the stretch with a layup that gave Kansas State a 30-14 lead.
“We just knew they really didn’t like pressure,” Pullen said. “Our defense turned into offense. I feel like our defense was making them uncomfortable.”
Up 14 at halftime, Kansas State built the lead to 34-17 on Shane Southwell’s 3-pointer to open the second half. Nebraska got no closer than 11 afterward.
“I didn’t have my team ready,” Sadler said. “They didn’t do anything that we didn’t expect. When you play sideways against Kansas State, it’s just a matter of time before they completely run you out of your stuff, and you’re going to turn it over.”
After a Diaz jumper cut the Wildcats’ lead to 34-22, Martavious Irving sank a 3-pointer that started a 7-0 Wildcats run.
When Diaz hit a post basket to make it 45-34 Kansas State with 13:31 remaining, the Wildcats went on an 8-2 run. Six of the points were on free throws.
Nebraska scored seven straight points, including a 3-pointer from Brandon Richardson, to get within 61-50 with 4 minutes remaining. It was the Cornhuskers’ last gasp.
Pullen and Kelly each hit two free throws to rebuild the cushion, a theme for the game. The Wildcats were 21 of 25 from the free-throw line, 18 of 21 in the second half.
Asked to comment on his team’s free throw shooting, Martin said, “No, I don’t want to jinx it.”
It was Kansas State’s first game since sophomore Wally Judge, a former McDonald’s All-American, left the team.

At Manhattan

Kansas State 69, Nebraska 53

     Diaz 3-6 4-7 10, McCray 3-5 0-0 6, Richardson 1-4 1-1 3, Walker 1-1 3-4 5, Jeter 7-13 1-1 16, Jones 0-2 0-0 0, Ubel 1-3 1-1 3, Niemann 0-1 0-0 0, Gallegos 1-4 2-2 5, Beranek 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 19-43 12-16 53.
KANSAS ST. (15-8)

     Kelly 6-10 4-4 16, Samuels 1-4 5-6 8, Pullen 6-15 5-7 18, Southwell 2-5 0-0 5, McGruder 3-7 3-4 10, Irving 1-4 2-2 5, Myles 0-0 0-0 0, Ojeleye 0-0 0-0 0, Henriquez-Roberts 1-3 2-2 4, Spradling 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 21-51 21-25 69.
     Halftime—Kansas St. 31-17. Three-point goals—Nebraska 3-12 (Beranek 1-2, Gallegos 1-3, Jeter 1-3, Richardson 0-1, Ubel 0-1, McCray 0-2), Kansas St. 6-19 (Southwell 1-2, Spradling 1-3, McGruder 1-3, Samuels 1-3, Irving 1-3, Pullen 1-5). Rebounds—Nebraska 24 (Beranek 5), Kansas St. 32 (Henriquez-Roberts 8). Assists_Nebraska 6 (Jeter 4), Kansas St. 14 (Pullen 6). Total Fouls—Nebraska 22, Kansas St. 15. Technical—Henriquez-Roberts. A—12,528.