Beasley, Kansas St. honor Stewart with win over Oklahoma St.Feb 10, 2008 - 5:15 AM MANHATTAN, Kansas (Ticker) -- Michael Beasley made sure that his mourning teammate did not have to worry about an extended absence.
Beasley scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as No. 24 Kansas State used a second-half push to record an 82-61 victory over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Conference on Saturday.
It was a school-record 19th double-double of the season for the sensational freshman, who stepped up to overcome a poor shooting effort by the Wildcats and another game without their floor leader.
"He's the best. Everything he achieves does not surprise me," Kansas State coach Frank Martin said of Beasley. "For somebody as talented as him that comes in every day, all he cares about is winning. I'm a first-year coach. He could come in here and say, 'Man, you aren't getting me shots. You don't run plays for me.' But I don't have to worry about that kind of stuff with Mike. He cares about winning and that's all he cares about."
Due to the ailing health of his mother, senior guard Clent Stewart left the team following last Saturday's loss at Missouri. She passed away on Tuesday, forcing Stewart to miss Wednesday's win over Nebraska and this matchup with the Cowboys.
The team's fourth-leading scorer, Stewart actually made it back to Bramlage Coliseum prior to the game, but did not play as he attended his mother's funeral earlier Saturday.
"It was real special," Beasley said about having Stewart in attendance. "To know what he is going through with his family and his mom and for him to still be with us is real special. That just shows how strong Clent is. He told us he might be coming today but I didn't believe him because I wouldn't come given the circumstances.
"It just shows how much Clent cares about the team. We're family, we're not a basketball team. We're bothers, the coaching staff we are just one big family and that's how we have to play."
Beasley and the rest of the Wildcats (17-5, 7-1 Big 12) gave Stewart a reason to smile, winning for the eighth time in nine games to remain one-half game behind Kansas in the league standings. No. 5 Kansas posted a 100-90 win over Baylor late Saturday.
Kansas State did start strong, grabbing a 31-15 lead with just under eight minutes left in the first half on a layup by Blake Young. That big advantage was sliced down to five points as Oklahoma State closed the first half on a 9-3 run.
"I felt good at halftime," Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton said. "I felt like we were in good position to keep it close and win the game. We didn't play particularly well, we were down 16 but cut it down to five."
While Sutton liked where his team was, Martin was forced to challenge his players, believing the physicality of the game caused them to revert back to earlier in the season.
"The game got real physical and, rather than respond to the physical nature of the game, we started acting like we did back in November," Martin said. "We started belly-aching and worrying about what was being called.
"I told them, 'Men we've come a long way. Why are we back in November again? Why? You guys have grown. We've grown. It's a physical game. The officials aren't cheating. They're calling the game. Be a man, grow up. Deal with it.'"
The hiccup did not faze the Wildcats much, as Bill Walker and freshman Jacob Pullen combined to score the first eight points of the second half. Beasley added a 3-pointer and a layup on consecutive possessions to make it 53-40 with 13:47 to play.
Kansas State later went on a 14-5 run to extend the lead to 72-51 with 6:50 left.
Pullen finished with 17 points and Walker added 14 and eight rebounds for the Wildcats, who surpassed 80 points from the first time in three games despite shooting 39 percent (29-of-75) from the field and making just 15-of-26 (58 percent) free throws.
Kansas State made up for its subpar shooting touch by hitting the boards in a very impressive fashion. It finished with a 51-29 advantage, including a dominating 29-5 margin on the offensive end. Beasley had five of those offensive rebounds and Walker and Ron Anderson added four each.
"I saw a stat sheet briefly, but I believe I saw where they had 29 rebounds and we had 29 offensive rebounds," Martin said. "That's a group of guys responding to the intensity of the basketball game."
Terrel Harris scored 16 points off the bench for the Cowboys (11-12, 2-7), who lost for the seventh time in eight games.
James Anderson was the lone starter to score in double figures with 14 points for Oklahoma State, which committed 24 turnovers in dropping its 16 consecutive road game in the Big 12.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
OKLAHOMA ST 33 28 61
KANSAS ST (24) 38 44 82 FINAL
Feb 9 8:23 PM
- NCAA BB
OKLAHOMA ST 33
(24) KANSAS ST 38 HALFTIME
Feb 9 6:59 PM
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