January 23, 2008

Beasley turns it on to help carry Cats

BOULDER, Colo. -- After going into the halftime locker room with just three points and four rebounds, it seemed entirely possible that Michael Beasley was on course for an off night against the Colorado Buffaloes. Then again, Beasley can easily turn it on.

K-State's talented freshman ended the night with 29 points and 13 rebounds as he and teammate Bill Walker dominated Colorado in the post and the Wildcats ran away with a 72-56 victory at the Coors Event Center, but it was K-State coach Frank Martin who reminded Beasley that his first-half effort was entirely unacceptable.

"There were some unpleasant words that you don't want to hear," Beasley said.

Walker ended the night with 18 points and eight rebounds, but it was Beasley once again stealing the spotlight for the Wildcats. Beasley scored 26 of K-State's 38 second-half points, helping the Wildcats convert a 34-30 lead with 17:49 remaining into a lead that grew as large as 20 in the second half.

"He decided to compete and do what we wanted him to do," Martin said of Beasley's second half. "He decided to post up and that's what we wanted him to do coming into the game."

Once Beasley hit a six-footer to put the Wildcats up 41-31 with 14:54, the Wildcats' found themselves in the midst of a 25-point stretch of their offense with every point coming from either Beasley or Walker. By the time Beasley was done with his second-consecutive three-point play, the Wildcats were leading 64-47 with 4:41 remaining.

The inspired play was a drastic change from a first half when the Wildcats were mostly going through the motions in taking an eight-point halftime lead.

"It was ugly. The first half was a disappointment," Walker said. "That's not how we want to represent the school. … We have too many lapses on defense. If we want to be a great team, we can't do that."

The victory moves the Wildcats to 13-4 overall and 3-0 in conference play for the first time since the 1987-88 season. Colorado falls to 9-9 and 1-3.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!