Turnovers plaque Wildcats in victory over UME

Bob Huggins called a timeout and had a message for his team during Tuesday's 79-58 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore in the second round of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic in Bramlage Coliseum. The coach of the Kansas State men's basketball team told his players that he had seen harder played games in recreation centers.

Huggins also took an extra long time to make his way to the post-game press conference after his team was involved an extremely ugly performance.

"When I first got here and we were doing a transition drill, I stopped them and told them I just had two helpful things I thought would help them play better," Huggins said. "If you throw it to the guy with the same colored shirt you have on and try to keep it between the black lines, it's pretty helpful and somehow today we lost sight of that.

"We weren't ready to play."

These statements came after the two teams combined for 55 turnovers in what most of the Wildcats would say was their sloppiest game of the season.

K-State won by 21, but they had a 23-point lead going into halftime and got outplayed in the second half by an inferior team.

"No team in the country loses the second half to a team that you should beat by 40," junior guard David Hoskins said. "We just need to play hard for 40 minutes and we didn't do that. It's kind of frustrating because you expect to do it better and then it doesn't happen.

"We're not playing these games to win by 10 points. We're supposed to win by 30, and tonight was just a huge disappointment."

Hoskins had 16 points, six rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes of action. He only committed one turnover, but three of his teammates had four apiece.

Two of those players were freshman forward Bill Walker and senior forward Cartier Martin.

Walker started and scored 11 points in only his second game as a Wildcat. He also grabbed five rebounds and had two steals, but was limited to just 18 minutes because he was in foul trouble for most of the game.

Walker took Martin's place in the starting lineup, but Martin had the more productive night.

He led the Wildcats with 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in 30 minutes of action.

Martin said after the game that it was his decision to give Walker the start, and he would do it again if that would be what helped the team out the most.

"That was a decision that I came to coach with. I approached him and told him that we need to get Bill in there and get him going a little bit," Martin said. "I'm a team player so starting is not a big deal to me. Whatever is going to help us get better, that's what I'm about. I want us to be able to go out this year and say we actually accomplished something."

If Martin wants to accomplish something this season, like earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament, than his team has a lot of work to do after this game.

K-State built an early 20-11 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. Then, with the score 26-17, the Wildcats went on a 20-6 run to end the first half.

The Hawks committed 32 turnovers in the game, and had 19 turnovers and only 17 points at one point in the opening half. The second half was even worse; with both teams committing what seemed like an endless amount of careless turnovers.

"They were self-inflicted turnovers. It was nothing that they did," Hoskins said. "They didn't pressure us, that's just us being careless. We were just careless with the ball tonight."

K-State committed 23 turnovers overall, and the highlight of the second half was when Huggins barked out at senior guard Jermaine Maybank to hold onto the ball after the crowd had grown deathly silent.

K-State will now travel to Las Vegas to take on Southern California Friday at 7 p.m. in the semifinals. The winner of this matchup will move on to the championship and will face the winner of the New Mexico-Wichita State game that also takes place Friday night in Las Vegas.

The loser of these two games plays in the consolation game at 7 p.m. Saturday, which will precede the championship game that starts at 9:30.

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