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Nowell scores 20 points, No. 12 K-State beats No. 19 Iowa St 61-55

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MANHATTAN, Kan. — Markquis Nowell hit a three-pointer from near half court with 2:42 remaining to help propel 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 everything possible to win today, and that was my mentality.”

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 inside. They had 24 points inside and relied on balanced scoring, led by Kunc.

“We just weren’t that intentional defensively, so it felt like it threw our game off balance,” said Iowa State coach TJ Otzelberger. “We thank K-State for the work they’ve done defensively, but it has played a part in making us stretch more.”

Cyclone guards Jaren Holmes and Gabe Kalscheur had a combined score of 6 of 30 from the floor.

Iowa State entered the game leading the Big 12 in steals and boasting the best turnover margin in the conference. The Wildcats entered with 84 turnovers in their last five games. However, Kansas State kept their turnover rate in check with just 11 and generated more points on turnovers with 19.

“The turnovers have been our Achilles heel,” said Kansas State coach Jerome Tang. “Our guys really focused on that.”

Kansas State: After losing their last two games to unranked opponents, the Wildcats remained above .500 in the conference and tied with ranked Iowa State 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 thick of a tight run in the conference top four. Seeding could become crucial in the Big 12 tournament in March.

Kansas State: Host No. 9 Baylor on Tuesday.

Iowa State: Visit #6 Texas on Tuesday.

AP college basketball: ee

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