MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP)Markquis Nowell hit a 3-pointer from near midcourt with 2:42 remaining to help boost No. 12 Kansas State to a 61-55 win over No. 19 Iowa State on Saturday.
Nowell finished with 20 points. Keyontae Johnson had 15 points for the Wildcats (20-7, 8-6 Big 12). Nowell scored 18 of his points in the second half.
”I just wanted to win,” Nowell said. ”I wanted to do anything possible to win today, and that was my mindset.”
Aljaz Kunc led Iowa State (17-9, 8-6) with 15 points.
Without their 3-point leader, Caleb Grill, in the lineup, the Cyclones worked the inside. They had 24 points inside and relied on balanced scoring, led by Kunc.
”We just weren’t as intentional defensively, so I felt like it threw our game off balance,” Iowa State head coach T.J. Otzelberger said. ”Credit to K-State for the job they did defensively, but it played a role in stretching us out more.”
Cyclone guards Jaren Holmes and Gabe Kalscheur went a combined 6 for 30 from the floor.
Iowa State entered the game leading the Big 12 in steals and boasting the conference’s best turnover margin. The Wildcats entered with 84 turnovers in the last five games. Yet, Kansas State kept the turnover rate under control with only 11 and generated more points off turnovers with 19.
”Turnovers have been our Achilles heel,” Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang said. ”Our guys really locked in on that.”
Kansas State: After losing its last two games to unranked opponents, the Wildcats stayed above .500 in the conference and tied with Iowa State in the standings heading into the final four games of the season.
Iowa State: The Cyclones had an opportunity to sweep the regular-season series against the Wildcats and are in the heart of a tight race inside the top four of the conference. Seeding could become crucial in the Big 12 tournament in March.
Kansas State: Hosts No. 9 Baylor on Tuesday.
Iowa State: Visits No. 6 Texas on Tuesday.
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