Final, K-State wins, 84-75
If streaks were meant to be broken, then the Jayhawks could take solace in having held off fate for this long.
After 24 years of home court suffering, the Kansas State Wildcats ended a drought in Manhattan against in-state rival Kansas University, taking home a resounding 84-75 win in Bramlage Coliseum Wednesday night.
Behind three freshmen, Kansas State did what no WIldcat team had done since 1983. Mike Beasley had 25 points and six rebounds, while Bill Walker supplied the 'Cats with 22 points and five boards. Point guard Jake Pullen stole the spotlight, though, with 20 points and four assists, including perfect 10-of-10 free throw shooting. Senior Clent Stewart also had 11 points.
Four Jayhawks scored in double figures, led by 19 points from Mario Chalmers. But the Jayhawks struggled offensively after the half, with Brandon Rush, who had a team-high 12 points in the first stanza, scoring just three in the second half, and they came on a three-pointer in the final minute. Rush finished with 15, while Darrell Arthur had 12 to go with seven rebounds. Sherron Collins, who scored a game-high 20 points in last year's 71-62 KU win in Bramlage, had 10 this time around.
The Jayhawks stayed around for most of the second half because of precision shooting at the free throw line, connecting on 17-of-20 attempts in the contest. K-State wasn't too shabby, though, at 17-of-22, and outrebounded the Jayhawks 34-30.
KU will have to wait until Saturday to rebound from its first loss of the 2007-08 season, taking on Colorado at 2:30 p.m. in Boulder. The Jayhawks are now 20-1 on the year and 5-1 in Big 12 play. K-State has won six in a row, improving to 15-4 and taking over sole possession of first place in the league at 5-0.
2:27, second half, K-State leads 76-64
Mike Beasley drew contact underneath and got to the line out of the timeout, hitting one of two free throws to give him 25 points on the night. Mario Chalmers then scored two in transition, but Jake Pullen matched it with two free throws of his own, making him 7-of-7 from the stripe on the night.
Then, after a KU turnover, Pullen went coast-to-coast and scored an and-one to make it a 12-point game at 73-61 with three minutes to play.
Chalmers then hit two more free throws to pull KU again within 10 points. Bill Walker erased that score, though, with a tip-in of a Blake Young miss, giving him 19 points and pushing the 'Cats back ahead by 75-63.
Russell Robinson then fouled out after Sherron Collins hit one of two free throws for the Jayhawks, and Clent Stewart hit one of two in response.
3:46, second half, K-State leads 67-59
After a K-State turnover, KU got to the line again, this time with Darrell Arthur drawing the first foul of the game on Mike Beasley. Arthur hit both shots, but Beasley then hit a square-up baseline jumper in front of Darnell Jackson. Jackson returned it by scoring two inside to keep it a six-point game.
Bill Walker drove the wing after that and scored two easy ones off the glass, giving him 17 points. Blake Young was called for his fourth foul on the other end, getting Russell Robinson to the line. Since trailing by 12 points minutes earlier, KU is now 8-of-8 from the line and 13-of-14 on the night.
Clent Stewart answered back by stepping around a screen and dropping in a three. Sherron Collins came back with an up-and-under layup. Mike Beasley then extended it back out to a 10-point game with a three after Clent Stewart scrambled for a loose ball on the deck. Bill self immediately called another timeout, with Beasley having now scored 24 points.
KU dropped in two out of the timeout, but the game headed into its final media break at the 3:46 mark down 67-59.
7:31, second half, K-State leads 57-48
Sherron Collins missed a three on the wing out of the timeout, and Blake Young took down his second rebound of the night for K-State. Bill Walker responded by banking in a three from the right wing, giving him 15 points on the night and handing K-State a seven-point lead.
Pullen then hit a three out of a 30-second KSU timeout to put the 'Cats ahead by 10 points at 55-45. Brandon Rush then missed a three of his own and Mike Beasley pulled down the tipped-around rebound attempt. Pullen dished to Beasley who then threw home a two-handed slam underneath, slapped the bottom of the backboard and forced Bramlage to explode with KSU up by 12.
Mario Chalmers finally ended the KSU run by slipping in two free throws in the bonus. Jake Pullen tried to get them back with a pull-up jumper, but he was short. Russell Robinson then got to the line for KU at the 9:14-mark with the Jayhawks down 10. He stroked both, making KU 9-of-10 at the line on the night.
Bill Walker tried a three to come back but couldn't hit. Though Darrell Arthur returned the favor, missing short on a turnaround jumper.
Walker missed another three, then missed the short follow-up, but Chalmers was blocked from behind by Beasley on the other end. Another Robinson miss drew anther Beasley rebound, giving him six on the night. Beasley was then fouled by Russell Robinson, sending the game into a full break.
11:58, second half, K-State leads 49-45
Mario Chalmers hit both free throws out of the timeout, but K-State couldn't capitalize after losing the ball out of bounds on a Darren Kent three miss. A Darrell Arthur miss sent the ball back with KSu. During a break in the action, Bill Walker came back in with his three fouls at the 14:14 mark.
K-State couldn't score on the possession, but Brandon Rush was long on a three look. Sherron Collins then missed, but Mike Beasley tipped in the miss while fighting for the board with Darrell Arthur. Arthur then was called for his fourth foul at the 13:33 mark on a Walker drive. Beasley then hit his third three of the game in three tries to put KSU back up by five. Sherron Collins responded with his first three of the game, making it 47-45 KSU.
Jake Pullen drove to the rack on K-State's next possession and was fouled. He hit both free throws, making him five-of-five from the stripe so far. Beasley then sat in place of Darren Kent, who quickly picked up his fourth foul.
15:51, second half, K-State leads 44-38
Off a Mike Beasley turnover, Russell Robinson fed Darnell Jackson in the open court out of the half for a huge two-handed slam to tie the game, 18-18.
With Bill Walker and Darrell Arthur on the bench to start the half, Mario Chalmers joined them, picking up his third foul, hacking Beasley on his way up. Beasley hit both to move into double figures with 10 points.
Sasha Kaun then had two huge blocked shots on Beasley and Dominique Sutton after a failed KU possession, but a Russell Robinson three look in transition was off and Beasley scored underneath after muscling up Kaun on the return trip, putting KSU up 42-38.
Sherron Collins then missed an acrobatic layup and the board was taken down by Sutton. After a walk called against Sasha Kaun, Beasley again manned up inside for two more, putting KSU up 44-38, having scored all six of the Wildcats' points this half.
After a KU timeout, Chalmers came back in to draw the first foul on Dominique Sutton going into a full timeout with K-State up 44-38.
Halftime, K-State leads 38-36
Jake Pullen missed a three out of the timeout, and on the other end Rod Stewart followed a Brandon Rush three miss with two off the glass. Mike Beasley was then called for a travel, sending the ball back with KU, trailing 36-33.
Brandon Rush then was called for his first foul in the form of a charge against Dominique Sutton. Clent Stewart scored on the other end with a follow-up layup off of a Darren Kent tip.
Brandon Rush continued to score on the drive, putting in his 11th and 12th points off the glass, slashing down the left wing for two to again make it a three-point game. A charge was called on KSU on the other end, giving KU the ball yet again down by three, this time with under a minute to go.
A loose ball scrum kept the ball with KU, and inside of 30 seconds, Darnell Jackson went to the line to shoot two, hitting one of them.
Darren Kent drew a foul inside with under a second to go in the half. He missed both charities, but K-State took a 38-36 lead into the break.
KU was an efficient 15-of-28 from the floor, but foul trouble plagued the Jayhawks just a tad in the first stanza. Darrell Arthur has three, and Sasha Kaun has two. Brandon Rush leads the Jayhawks with 12 points, including a 2-of-4 showing from three-point range.
Bill Walker led K-State with 12 points, but sat the final few minutes of the half with three fouls of his own. Mike Beasley was held to eight points on 3-of-10 shooting, but has no fouls through one half. KU has been outrebounded 18-16.
3:44, first half, K-State leads 36-31
Darrell Arthur was called for his third foul with 7:22 to go in the half, just after scoring on a spin move against Darren Kent out of the timeout. Cole Aldrich checked in in his place.
Brandon Rush was called for a carry just after Bill Walker was whistled for the same thing on the other end. Jake Pullen then drew a charging call on Russell Robinson to give KU its seventh team foul at the 6:21 mark.
Mario Chalmers stroked a three to put KU back on top, 29-28, after Mike Beasley missed inside again. Beasley responded with a three in the corner. Bill Walker then had to sit with his third foul of the game after elbowing Mario Chalmers in the mouth after getting a defensive rebound. Brandon Rush then tied it back up, 31-31, with a two-handed dunk while slashing down the baseline.
The foul calls continued to come against KU, this time against Chalmers. It was his second, and put Pullen at the line in the bonus.
Pullen hit both free throws, and a KU turnover set it back with the 'Cats. Beasley hit another three to put K-State up by five inside of the four-minute mark, and Cole Aldrich was then called for a foul to send the game into a full break.
7:54, first half, K-State leads 28-24
Darrell Arthur stepped out of bounds under the hoop after the media timeout. On the other end, after a foul on Sasha Kaun - his first- KSU again benefited following a Darren Kent miss. This time, Bill Walker spun in two off the glass. He then took down a defensive board off of a Darrell Arthur turnaround miss. At the next stoppage in play on the other end, Beasley checked back in in place of Kent.
Beasley quickly drew a defensive switch to get Arthur on him, and then drew the second foul on Arthur. That led to Bill Walker hitting another two on the baseline. Sherron Collins matched it with a similar shot. Walker came back with his second three of the game in the corner, giving the freshman a game-high 12 points so far.
Walker then was whistled for his second foul of the game, getting a piece of Darnell Jackson underneath. Jackson went to the line and hit both free throws, but K-State kept the offense coming. This time it was Jake Pullen driving and hitting a leaning layup while getting fouled. He hit the free throw, putting KSU up 26-22 with 9:51 to go in the half.
Mario Chalmers missed a three on the other end, giving KSU a chance to up the lead a bit more.
Michael Beasley then scored his first points of the game at the 9:18 mark to put KSU up by six and force the Bramlage crowd to erupt. Bill Self whistled for a 30-second timeout.
Blake Young and Sasha Kaun each earned their second fouls of the game in the first two possessions out of the timeout. A travel call on Dominique Sutton after a loose ball sent the game into its third full break.
11:57, first half, KU leads 18-16
Mike Beasley was called for a travel out of the timeout, and Mario Chalmers immediately silenced the crowd some, faking left, going right past Blake Young and throwing down a one-handed slam. Brandon Rush then soared in for a layup to make it a two-point game after a loose ball was gathered underneath by Sasha Kaun. Kaun tied the game moments later off the glass.
Jake Pullen broke the silence for K-State with a three that spun in around the rim to put KSU back up, 14-11.
Brandon Rush hit his second three of the game to tie things up, and that was followed by Arthur, just back in the game for Jackson, swatting away Darren Kent underneath on the defensive end. That caused Frank Martin to call a 30-second timeout. The 'Cats turned it over out of the break, and Brandon Rush then fed Russell Robinson for two in transition to give KU the lead. Then, a Brandon Rush defensive board turned into another transition opportunity, with Darrell Arthur this time hitting a long jumper from straight on to give KU an 18-14 lead. That forced another Frank Martin timeout, with Mike Beasley still scoreless and just 0-for-2 from the floor.
Dominique Sutton tipped in a Darren Kent miss out of the timeout to put life back into the Bramlage crowd, but a foul on Kent on the other end brought the game to a full break with KU up 18-16.
15:27, first half, K-State leads 11-5
KU controlled the opening tip, and off a feed from Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush canned a corner three right in front of the KSU student section to start things off.
Bill Walker matched the feat from the right wing on K-State's first possession. KU turned it over on its first possession, but a Michael Beasley airball sent it back with KU again. Russeell Robinson missed a corner three, and a tip from Darrell Arthur missed, giving Mike Beasley his first board of the game. Clent Stewart hit K-State's second three and put KSU up 6-3 just under two minutes in.
Another KSU turnover gave KU another chance to cash in offensively, but the Jayhawks couldn't connect, turning it over underneath. Bill Walker then missed a three from the same spot he hit at earlier, and Arthur pulled KU within one with a turnaround jumper over Walker off the glass.
K-State continued the three-point barrage, with Blake Young hitting his first three look of the game from up top, giving the 'Cats a 9-5 edge.
Russell Robinson drove the wing after Young was called for a foul, but he was swatted by Dominique Sutton. KSU failed to capitalize, and KU got another chance with the ball down by four.
Mario Chalmers was then called for a walk while driving the lane, giving KU its third turnover of the game. Mike Beasley missed an outside jumper on the other end, and Sutton missed the follow-up, but after an inbounds pass, Bill Walker spun inside and slammed home a one-handed dunk underneath. Dominique Sutton then grabbed a defensive board off another KU miss, but Walker couldn't hit a three on the other end. Darnell Jackson was then called for a walk, leading into the game's first full break.
Manhattan - The streak, at this point, is only the start of it.
Forget the fact that Kansas University has won 24 straight games against Kansas State in Manhattan. That prestigious run almost takes a back seat to everything else tonight as KU and K-State play in Bramlage Coliseum.
No. 2 Kansas (20-0 overall, 5-0 Big 12) has taken the verbal high road this week in mostly opting not to respond to the claims of K-State freshman star Michael Beasley, who guaranteed a Wildcat victory late last week. No. 22 Kansas State (14-4, 4-0), winners of five straight, is more capable of backing up any pregame smack talk this year than it has at any point in recent history.
Beasley, who was regarded widely as the top high school prospect in last year's class, is certainly worth all the fuss. So far, the 6-foot-10 forward is averaging 25.3 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. He's made it look easy most of the time, too, shooting 56.6 percent from the floor despite working constantly against sagging zones and double teams. The 'Cats are more than just Beasley, though. Fellow freshman Bill Walker, now playing in the power forward slot, is averaging 15.8 points per game. What could dictate how the game plays out for K-State, though, is how those behind the tandem play, such as freshman point guard Jake Pullen, senior guard Clent Stewart and senior guard Blake Young.
KU's backcourt could be the key to staying undefeated on the year. Bill Self has mentioned this week the defensive importance Mario Chalmers and Russell Robinson could carry in helping clamp down on Beasley by denying as many entry passes as possible. Off the bench, sophomore Sherron Collins will be big, too. Collins is used to the rowdy atmosphere in Bramlage, scoring a game-high 20 points in a 71-62 win in Manhattan a year ago.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. tonight, and the game will be carried on ESPN-Plus (Sunflower channels 8 and 15).