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Balanced scoring, solid rebounding lift Nebraska

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Kiera Hardy scored 13 points to lead No. 21 Nebraska to a 62-55 victory over Kansas State on Wednesday night for the Cornhuskers' fourth straight win and seventh in eight games.

Ashley Ford added 11 points and Chelsea Aubry had 12 rebounds for Nebraska (19-4, 8-2 Big 12), which won the rebounding battle, 46-33. Kelsey Griffin, who entered the game fifth in the Big 12 Conference at 16.4 points per game, was held to seven points and 10 rebounds in action limited by foul trouble.

Shalee Lehning scored 15 points for Kansas State (15-8, 3-6), which has lost six of seven since starting forward Marlies Gipson went down with a knee injury. Kimberly Dietz added 14 and Claire Coggins 13.

Nebraska survived a 5-minute scoreless streak in the second half to break a six-game losing streak at Bramlage Coliseum. With the victory, the Huskers tied a record for the best conference start in school history. The 1987-88 team began 20-4 overall and 8-2 in the Big Eight Conference.

It is the best conference start for the Huskers since the Big 12 was formed in 1996.

The Wildcats trailed 32-25 at halftime after shooting 32 percent in the opening period. Their struggles continued early in the second, when they missed nine of their first 11 from the field and trailed 42-29.

The Wildcats, however, went on a 10-0 run, capped by an alley-oop layup from Dietz to Shana Wheeler, to cut the gap to 42-39 with 11:32 remaining.

But that was as close as Kansas State would get, as a last-minute comeback effort fell short when the Wildcats could not connect from long range. Kansas State finished 4-for-23 from 3-point range, compared to the Huskers' 7-of-17 shooting.

Although Nebraska turned the ball over 21 times, the Wildcats could only convert the giveaways into 17 points.

Following a 70-63 victory in Lincoln, Neb., on Jan. 17, the Huskers' win Wednesday completed their first season sweep of the Wildcats since the 2000-01 season.