K-State Fends off Gorillas, 76-66

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Michael Beasley scored 30 points, most of them during a critical second-half run, and No. 25 Kansas State escaped an upset Sunday with a 76-66 victory over Pittsburg State.

The freshman forward also had 14 rebounds, posting his second double-double in as many games. He had 32 points and a Big 12 Conference-record 24 rebounds in the Wildcats' victory over Sacramento State on Friday night.

Beasley scored 16 points over the final nine minutes Sunday, leading Kansas State on a 26-9 spurt to close the game and avoid a loss to the Division II Gorillas.

The Wildcats struggled all day shooting the ball, finishing 43 percent from the field and 4-of-19 from beyond arc. It wasn't any better from the free-throw line, where Kansas State was just 14-of-27 (52 percent).

Redshirt freshman Bill Walker, who sat out the season-opener against Sacramento State with an injury, was the only other player in double figures for the Wildcats (2-0). He finished with 11 points, all in the first half.

Walker, who played six games last season before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, limped off the court near the end of the first half with an apparent right calf injury.

Trainers iced it on the bench at the beginning of the second half, and Walker returned to the locker room with 7:20 remaining. He reappeared a few minutes later and tried to check in on his way to the bench, but Kansas State coach Frank Martin immediately told him to sit down.

Cory Abercrombie had 25 points and seven rebounds for Pittsburg State, which led 40-38 at halftime and by as many as seven in the second half. Spencer Magana added 12 points on 3-for-5 shooting from 3-point range.

Pittsburg State went on a 15-0 run in the middle of the second half to take a 57-50 lead, but that's when Beasley took over. His tip-in with 9:13 left sparked the decisive run, and Kansas State took the lead for good at 60-59 when Beasley scored on a fast-break layup.

The Gorillas shot 41 percent, but hit only one field goal in the final nine minutes.

Kansas State was playing its second game in three days because Martin wanted to prepare his young players with a tournament-like schedule. The Wildcats head to Orlando, Fla., in two weeks to play in the Old Spice Classic.

The contest was a regular-season game for the Wildcats, but it counted as Pittsburg State's final exhibition game.


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