MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP)—Michael Beasley’s achievements on the court do not surprise Kansas State coach Frank Martin.
Even the freshman forward’s 40 points and 17 rebounds during No. 18 Kansas State’s 100-63 rout of Missouri on Saturday didn’t come as much of a shock.
“When you guys asked me back in September, I said he was very good,” Martin said. “And when I went out and told people that in high school I thought he was a better player than Kevin Durant in high school, everyone thought I was nuts.
“Now everybody has got to watch him as much as I was watching him before, so everyone is kind of getting an understanding that he’s pretty good.”
Beasley leads the nation in rebounding, is fourth in scoring and is one double-double shy of tying Carmelo Anthony’s NCAA freshman record of 22. It was Beasley’s second 40-point game and ninth with at least 30 points. He shot 12-of-22 from the field and 14-of-15 from the free throw line.
“I missed 10 shots,” said Beasley, shrugging off his stats. “I could’ve done better.”
Bill Walker added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats (18-6, 8-2 Big 12), who shot 53 percent in the first half to cruise to a 52-31 halftime lead.
Beasley and Walker—the highest-scoring tandem in the Big 12—accounted for 37 of the 52 first-half points, which was the highest-scoring half for the Wildcats all season.
“They don’t like to lose,” Martin said of the duo. “You should have seen our practices the last two days. They didn’t come here to lose.”
Matt Lawrence scored 20 points on 6-of-11 3-point shooting to lead Missouri (14-12, 4-7). The Tigers, who fell to 2-7 on the road this season, went without a field goal for a seven-minute stretch in the first half as Kansas State went on 21-1 run to take a commanding 40-19 lead.
Eleven different players scored for the Wildcats, who forced 24 turnovers and out-rebounded the Tigers 47-25 en route to their 10th straight home victory.
The two teams split the season series, as Missouri handed Kansas State its first Big 12 loss two weeks ago with a 77-74 win in Columbia, Mo.
In that game, Missouri overcame a 15-point deficit to hand Kansas State its first Big 12 loss of the season. The Tigers used a variety of zone and full-court defenses to confuse the Wildcats in the second half, eventually taking the lead in the final minutes and pulling out the victory.
Beasley struggled with foul trouble and scored just 17 points in that game, a personal Big 12 low.
This time around, those zones and trapping defenses didn’t work quite as well on Beasley and the Wildcats.
And he made sure the Tigers didn’t come back from a large deficit again.
“I took that personally, the loss in Columbia, because there were a lot of things said that I didn’t like,” Beasley said. “So I made it my business to help the team win.”
At one point in the second half, Beasley scored 16 straight points for Kansas State, leading the Wildcats on a 19-3 run and spreading the gap to 84-46.
“Obviously, it was a different game than it was in Columbia,” Missouri coach Mike Anderson said. “We just ran into a buzz saw. Anything that we could do wasn’t right and everything that they did was right.”
Both teams now claim to hold a 114-113 advantage in the all-time series. The game in question was in 1913 in Manhattan. Missouri lists the contest as a 25-24 victory, while Kansas State says it won 26-25.
Kansas State, coming off an 84-75 loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday, remained tied with Texas for second in the Big 12, a half-game behind Kansas.