LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP)—Kansas State’s junior college transfer upstaged its top recruit on Sunday.
Andre Gilbert interrupted the Michael Beasley show by scoring 22 points, going 4-for-6 from 3-point range, and the Wildcats held off Rider 82-69 in the Old Spice Classic. Beasley had 13 points and 10 rebounds after scoring at least 30 points in four of K-State’s previous five games.
Beasley, a consensus top-five recruit, is expected to have games like that. Gilbert, a community college transfer from Mount San Jacinto, is not.
It didn’t surprise Wildcats coach Frank Martin, who made Gilbert one of his first signings after taking over when Bob Huggins abruptly resigned. Even though Martin couldn’t recall exactly where Gilbert came from—California, after a year at South Dakota State.
“He had 20 points at Rupp Arena against Kentucky, when he was at North Dakota State or South Dakota or wherever the heck he was at—South Dakota State,” Martin said. “You don’t score 20 points at Rupp Arena unless you have some ability to put the ball in the basket.”
Jason Thompson led Rider (3-3) with 23 points, while young brother Ryan Thompson added 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Rider trailed from the start, failing to score its first bucket until 3:16 into the first half. The Broncs made it 40-40 at halftime after Ryan Thompson banked in a runner.
K-State (5-1) led as many as 17, but Rider pulled within 71-64 after Ryan Thompson made his second straight driving layup. He hit a third drive with 3:31 left to make it a four-point game, but the Broncs didn’t score a field goal the rest of the way.
Three people were ejected in the last minute—K-State forward Bill Walker, Rider coach Tommy Dempsey and Jason Thompson.
Dempsey was screaming at officials with 43 seconds left, several feet onto the court. Walker and Thompson got tossed 14 seconds later with their own beef.
“I was upset because I thought we had a layup that would have cut the game to six and give us still a fighting chance to win the game,” Dempsey said. “The call was made, I reacted, and then he gave me what I thought was a quick technical. At that point, I deserved the second one.”
Walker and Thompson thought officials threw them out as a precaution to keep the game under control.
Walker hit two foul shots to ice the game at 80-68 after Dempsey’s technical, and before the K-State freshman got tossed.
Jacob Pullen added 19 points and five assists for K-State, while Walker had 14 points and 10 rebounds. It was his first game back after sitting out Friday with a hyperextended knee.