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Freshman phenom Michael Beasley led the Kansas State Wildcats to a 72-56 victory over conference rival CU on Wednesday.
As the scoring leader of the Big 12, Beasley had 26 points and nine rebounds in the second half alone. Even though CU senior Richard Roby countered Beasley’s 29 points with 27 of his own, the Buffs could not pull away with a win over Kansas State (13-4, 3-0).
“The only thing I can do when I come out there is play as hard as I can,” Roby said. “But the ultimate goal is to come out with a win, and we came up short.”
The Buffs (9-9, 1-3) shot 17 of 31 from free throw line for a season-low 54.8 percent. The Wildcats also out-rebounded the Buffs 41-30.
The Buffs committed 17 turnovers, which senior guard Marcus Hall said hurt his team, especially early in the game.
“We were averaging ten turnovers a game, and we had ten in the first half alone,” Hall said.
Head coach Jeff Bzdelik said it was plain to see that the Buffs’ combined struggles at the free throw line, on the boards and taking care of the ball led to their home loss.
“Obviously you’re not going to win a lot of basketball games when you yield 17 offensive rebounds, turn the ball over 17 times, and miss 14 free throws,” Bzdelik said.
Roby hit a season-best 27 points for the third time in just over a month, also grabbing nine rebounds. However, it was not enough to earn the Buffs their tenth win of the season.
Bzdelik said that while Roby’s performance was impressive, the Buffs are going to have to improve their effort as a team if they want to win more games.
“(Roby) was aggressive offensively, he just needs to continue that within the scheme of what he wants to have done,” Bzdelik said. “I think the most important thing is that we’re a team and we need to stay more disciplined to the game-plan. Everybody’s got to do their job.”
K-State’s Beasley played only 10 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, and he finished the half with only three of his 29 points and four of his 13 rebounds.
Senior forward Marcus King-Stockton guarded Beasley for much of the game, and eventually fouled out doing so. He said the Buffs played Beasley fairly well in the first half, but he got away from them in the second.
“We tried to get him in foul trouble, and he got in it a little in the first half,” King-Stockton said. “But in the second half we didn’t do it.”
King-Stockton said that while it takes a lot of effort to defend a player like Beasley, his own foul trouble was his greatest defensive obstacle.
“You’ve got to chase him, you’ve got to be physical with him,” King-Stockton said. “But it was more the fouls that got me in trouble.”
Bzdelik said that he hopes his players are looking to improve on their performance as much as he is looking to improve on his own.
“I know I look at myself in the mirror first,” Bzdelik said. “They need to look at themselves in the mirror too and say ‘what do I need to be doing better?’ If every player can do one thing better, that would help us a lot.”
The Buffs will take on Missouri (11-8, 1-3) on Saturday at the Coors Events Center.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Brad Cochi at firstname.lastname@example.org