MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Shalee Lehning tied a career high with 12 assists and scored the go-ahead basket with 22 seconds left, leading Kansas State (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) past Nebraska 69-65 Wednesday night.
The Wildcats (19-8, 11-3 Big 12) never trailed in the second half and led by as many as nine, but they gave up an eight-point lead in the final two minutes to set the stage for Lehning's heroics.Kansas State went up 65-57 when Kari Kincaid hit a 3-pointer with two minutes left, but Nebraska reeled off six straight points and closed the gap to 65-63 on Yvonne Turner's 3-pointer from the top of the key.After a Kansas State shot-clock violation, Kelsey Griffin scored on a running bank shot to tie the game at 65 with 45 seconds left.On the following possession, Lehning drove the lane and put in a left-handed layup to put Kansas State on top for good. She finished with 11 points.Kimberly Dietz, who led all scorers with 19 points, stole the ball at the other end and hit two free throws to seal it for the Wildcats. Kansas State clinched a first-round bye in the Big 12 Tournament and stayed a game behind Baylor for the conference lead.Griffin scored 17 points to lead Nebraska (18-10, 7-7), which has dropped four of its last five games. Danielle Page scored 12 for the Huskers, who shot 50 percent from the field but committed 20 turnovers.Lehning, the Big 12 leader with 6.3 assists a game, had nine by halftime, routinely setting up her teammates for easy baskets by driving and dishing.Kansas State, which finished just 5-of-20 from 3-point range, closed the first half on a 12-5 run to lead 37-30 at the break. The Wildcats led by nine on multiple occasions in the second half, but could never put the Huskers away.