for this game

Beasley, Kansas State topple Texas A&M

Jan 20, 2008 - 5:42 AM MANHATTAN, Kansas (Ticker) -- Freshman sensation Michael Beasley's second-half effort kept Texas A&M reeling.

Beasley scored 12 of his 21 points after halftime as unranked Kansas State wrapped up the ninth-ranked Aggies' disappointing road trip with a 75-54 Big 12 Conference victory on Saturday.

Bill Walker also had 21 points for the Wildcats (12-4, 2-0 Big 12), who recorded their first win over a ranked opponent in winning for the seventh time in eight games.

"I'm proud of our guys because it is a sign of growth," Kansas State coach Frank Martin said. "We couldn't have won that game back in November and our guys have grown."

"This is right up there with one of the biggest wins that I have been part of," Wildcats senior guard Clent Stewart said. "They are a good team, they're 15-3. They have played some good teams and have beaten some good teams. We believe we are a good team, especially at home.

Overall, Kansas State improved to 8-0 all-time at home in the series.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M (15-3, 1-2) dropped its second straight league game on the road after absorbing a 68-53 loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday as Bob Knight secured his 900th win.

It was the 10th loss in 14 all-time meetings against Knight for the Aggies, who had a five-point lead in the first half of this contest before settling for a 35-33 deficit at intermission.

"I thought we were okay for about 25 minutes but what it comes down to is that our bigs can't guard their bigs," Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. "We were so inefficient, when we got to the foul line we didn't step up and make free throws."

Josh Carter's jumper tied the score in the opening moments of the second half, but Beasley, one of the top freshman in the country along with the likes of O.J. Mayo and Kevin Love, hit a 3-pointer with less than three minutes expired and a later layup ignited a 13-1 run that gave Kansas State a 49-40 advantage with 10:32 remaining.

The 6-9 freshman added back-to-back jumpers for a 60-46 cushion with six minutes to play, and added another 3-pointer two minutes later.

Despite being in foul trouble for most of the contest, Beasley finished 7-of-14 from the field. Since a five-point effort in a loss at Xavier on December 31, he is averaging 26.0 points while shooting 67 percent (29-of-43) in three games.

"He just makes it look so easy," Turgeon said. "It looks like he is moving in slow motion compared to everybody else. He was in foul trouble all night and never lost his rhythm and he draws fouls better than anybody that I've been around."

Fouling out once this season, Beasley has drawn eight fouls in his last two games. To counteract two early fouls inside the opening four minutes, Martin shuffled the freshman in and out of the lineup.

"Coach Martin is a smart man," Beasley said. "I didn't need any more fouls. I picked up two stupid fouls and coach was playing me in and out. I didn't want to get any more fouls but I didn't want him to sit me and get stiff because then I wouldn't be helping in the second half either. I thought that was a really smart move by Coach Martin."

Walker also had four fouls, but has also been near the top of his game lately, going 6-of-14 with five 3-pointers. Over his last five games, the redshirt freshman is averaging 22.2 points, connecting on 13 3-pointers over than span.

While Beasley and Walker were both clicking, the Aggies were having a tough time. They went nearly 11 minutes without a field after Carter opened the second half with a jumper.

Texas A&M, which returns home to face Baylor on Wednesday, did not get another basket until Joseph Jones' layup with 8:16 left, making it 54-44.

Overall, the Aggies went 26 percent (5-of-19) from the field over the final 20 minutes.

"They were quicker to the ball," Turgeon said of K-State defense. "Where they were good was when they played one-on-one against our posts and they were giving up about 30 or 40 pounds on each player. I thought that was the difference because we got the ball right where we wanted but we didn't make plays against their posts. It could have made a difference but I thought their defense did a good job."

Carter scored 13 points and Jones added 12 for Texas A&M, which finished 38 percent (17-of-45).