Contain Bill Walker and Michael Beasley. Sounds easy, right?
Without them, Kansas State would have scored 42 points Saturday.
With them playing well, Kansas State scored a lot more and beat Missouri 100-63. Saturday’s loss at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan., drops Missouri to 14-12 overall and 4-7 in the Big 12 Conference. Missouri guard Jason Horton, who was charged with third-degree assault Friday for his role in a January 27 fight at a late-night restaurant in Columbia, came off the bench and played 20 minutes.
His presence on the court changed little. The Wildcats shot 50 percent from the field on Saturday and outrebounded Missouri 40-23.
“What can you say? Everything they did went well for them,” Missouri coach Mike Anderson said in a radio interview after the game. “And for the Tigers, it just didn’t happen today.”
Beasley ended up tying a career-high with 40 points. Walker had 18.
In the first half alone, Beasley scored 21 points, Walker had 16, and the rest of the team scored 15. Missouri scored 31 points in the half.
Neither played down the stretch when the game was out of reach, and Walker didn’t play much after getting his fourth foul with 15:56 left.
The 6-foot-10, 235 pound Beasley also added 17 rebounds, giving him his 21st double-double of the season. One more and he breaks the NCAA record of 22 set by Carmelo Anthony of Syracuse in 2002-03.
“He’s probably one of the best players in the nation, if not the best,” guard Matt Lawrence said by phone. “You saw it tonight. He got going early and just kept going the whole game. He’s just a real aggressive player, real tough.”
Saturday’s game was a far cry from the last time the teams met. On Feb. 2, Missouri overcame a 14-point deficit to beat Kansas State 77-74 at Mizzou Arena.
In the first game, Missouri guard J.T. Tiller scored a career-high 20 points. On Saturday, Tiller fouled out with 8:47 left, scoring only four points.
Horton, Darryl Butterfield and Stefhon Hannah were suspended during the first game.
This time, Horton came off the bench and scored one point and added one assist in 20 minutes. Butterfield played 12 minutes, also scoring one point.
Hannah, who was also charged with third-degree assault on Friday in connection to the Jan. 27 fight, was dismissed from the team on Tuesday for violating team rules after he missed more than two weeks of classes while recovering at home in Chicago from a broken jaw suffered during the Jan. 27 fight.
In the first game, holding Beasley to 17 points and 10 rebounds was considered a job well done.
The Tigers had trouble controlling another one of the conference’s elite big men, Nebraska center Aleks Maric, on the road last Wednesday. After holding the 6-foot-11, 275-pound Maric to 13 points and 13 rebounds in Columbia on Jan. 30, he scored 32 points and grabbed 16 rebounds against the Tigers in Lincoln, Neb., last Wednesday.
“It’s tough to get a guy twice, especially if he’s as good as Beasley,” Lawrence said. “But that’s what good players do. They make adjustments and he made some adjustments tonight.”
On a more positive note for Missouri, Lawrence scored a team-high 20 points on 6-of-11 3-point shooting. He was 4-for-6 from the perimeter in the first half; his fourth came as time expired after spinning away from Kansas State guard Blake Young.
Lawrence, Missouri’s 3-point specialist, has been slumping this year, especially of late. Starting every game last season, Lawrence shot 44.3 percent from beyond the arc. Starting every game this year, Lawrence was shooting only 32.5 percent from beyond the arc going into Saturday’s game.
Before shooting 2-for-8 from behind the 3-point line in Wednesday’s win against Nebraska, Lawrence registered only one point in Missouri’s previous two games.
“My teammates did a good job screening for me,” Lawrence said. “I had some good looks against Nebraska but they just weren’t falling for me. When they do fall you get some confidence and you build on that.”
Missouri forward DeMarre Carroll, who reaggravated an injured right ankle Feb. 4 at Kansas, struggled again on Saturday. Carroll, Missouri’s leading scorer and rebounder, lacked his usual explosiveness as he played only 15 minutes against Kansas State. He scored eight points and had three rebounds in the game.