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February 2, 2011

Gameday: Nebraska vs. Kansas State

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2010 - 7:04 p.m. CT
TV: Big 12 Network / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Kansas State Wildcats (14-8, 2-5 Big 12)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Lost to Kansas 90-66
G Jacob Pullen (leads the Wildcats and ranks fourth in the Big 12 at 18.1 ppg) Sr. 6-0 200
G Rodney McGruder (averages 11.4 ppg and 6.6 rpg and shoots 41% from 3-pt) So. 6-4 205
G Shane Southwell (freshman making just sixth start of season tonight) Fr. 6-6 220
F Jamar Samuels (scoring 9.7 points with 5.0 rebounds per contest) Jr. 6-7 220
F Curtis Kelly (averaging 9.7 ppg and 5.0 rpg) Sr. 6-8 239

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (15-5, 3-3 Big 12 Conference)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Defeated to Texas A&M 57-48
G Lance Jeter (Leads Big 12 in A/TO Ratio (2.64-to-1) and is third with 1.9 spg) Sr. 6-3 222
G Brandon Richardson (shooting 95% from the field in Big 12 play) Jr. 6-0 190
G Caleb Walker (three games with at least 10 rebounds this season) Jr. 6-4 205
G Toney McCray (averaging 11.2 points on 49% shooting in Big 12 action) Jr. 6-6 210
F Jorge Brian Diaz (had season-high 16 points vs. No. 13 Texas A&M) So. 6-11 245

End the streak

For the fourth time this season, Nebraska will be looking to end one of its most frustrating streaks in recent memory tonight. Coming into their game at Kansas State, the Huskers have lost a staggering 11 straight Big 12 road games dating back to the end of the 2008-09 season. In fact, NU is just 2-15 in its past 17 games away from the Devaney Center. For them to have any chance at an NCAA Tournament berth, the Huskers have to find a way to win on the road.
Fill the void

At one point Tuesday, it looked like Nebraska could possibly be without its top two centers in Jorge Brian Diaz and Andre Almeida. While Diaz, who had troubles getting home from Puerto Rico due to weather, is said to make it back in time for tip-off, Almeida's sprained ankle won't be quite as easy of a problem to solve. Even if he can play, which has been given "a 50-50 chance at best", how many minutes the junior can provide is another issue. Nebraska will likely have to lean on the likes of Christopher Niemann and Brandon Ubel to fill his shoes in the low post.
Keep it defensive

Earlier this week, Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler was asked about last year's 91-87 loss in Manhattan, Kan. If the score even comes close to the 80s and 90s again tonight, Sadler said, the Huskers probably wouldn't stand a chance against the Wildcats. As always, NU's best chance at getting the elusive road win will be to keep the game as low scoring as possible and hope to give itself a chance to win in the final minutes.

Head coach Doc Sadler on why K-State is better than its record suggests:

"I don't know very many people that are going to go the places they've been and win basketball games. When you look at conference seasons, I don't know that you can really look at it until the season is over with. A week ago everybody was counting Texas Tech as a team that was not having a good year, and all of sudden now they've got three wins. Again, a lot depends on who you're playing, where you're playing. You don't get too discouraged or too excited, because every time you do one or the other then the next game is either something that can get you going or it might be something that can slow you down."
Senior point guard Lance Jeter on why Bramlage Coliseum is so tough to play in:

"Just the crowd. The student section was really hostile. That's something you want to play in. They're going to say stuff, and you just have to block them out and stay focused on what you're trying to get done. That's why it's always fun to play on the road, because you feel like it's an us-against-the-world thing. Especially for us, because we need to get a road win."

Kansas State 73-67

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