December 4, 2007

Wildcats sputter in defeat at Jimmy V

NEW YORK - Michael Beasley and the Kansas State Wildcats stepped onto college basketball's big stage on Tuesday night at the Jimmy Classic at Madison Square Garden and the youthful Cats proved once again they aren't quite ready for prime time in a 68-59 loss to Notre Dame.

The loss was the second straight for the Wildcats after last week's overtime setback to Oregon, but freshman Bill Walker, who scored 14 points, including 12 in the second half, knows the Cats are missing opportunities.

"This is very frustrating because they're both games we could have won," Walker said. "We all need to grow up in the locker room including myself."

After taking a 39-38 lead early in the second half, K-State, now 5-3, saw the Irish score the next seven points in a 14-2 run that opened a 52-41 Irish lead with 12:12 remaining.

K-State clawed back within two at 59-57 and then 61-59 following two Michael Beasley free throws with 1:47 remaining, but the Irish scored the game's final seven points as the offensively impotent Cats scored just 25 second-half points. The back-breaker for the Wildcats proved to be a Kyle McAlarney 3-point shot with 1:32 remaining after K-State played brilliant defense but then gave up an offensive rebound that gave Notre Dame a second offensive chance.

"It's hard to win a basketball game when you go out and fight teams defensively and make them shoot contested shots, but not rebound the ball defensively," K-State coach Frank Martin said.

Beasley led the Wildcats with 19 points and 13 rebounds, but the 6-foot-10 freshman scored just four points off of one field goal and two free throws in the final 20 minutes. Beasley was just 1 of 7 from the field in the half.

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