Cats Take Down Bears

The youth movement put it together and riding the hot hand of Bill Walker, Kansas State, needing this one to snap out of a losing streak... went on to an 82-75 victory over previously unbeaten California.

Riding Bill Walker's 30-point, 10-rebound performance, Kansas State scored its first significant non-conference victory of the season Sunday in Bramlage Coliseum.

With Michael Beasley needing a bit of relief from the burden of being K-State's leader in everything, Walker, a 2-of-15 3-point shooter entering the game, made a pair of long balls in the opening minutes, and then scored his other five fielders attacking the basket, plus netted 14-of-16 from the foul line for his career-high game.

Not surprised at Walker's effort was Kansas State coach Frank Martin, who mentioned Walker's 37-point scrimmage shortly before the season started.

That, however, was followed by a thumb injury, and then a hyper-extended knee.

"When you're coming off an ACL, it's hard enough to find consistency just because of the injury," said Martin. "Bill's a competitor. He wants to win. Whether he had pain in his knee or not, he wasn't going to allow that to prevent us to find a way to succeed."

Walker scored 10 of KSU's first 13 points, and he ended up with his 10th twin-figure game in 13 career games. His 10 rebounds also tied his career high.

"I just took my time out there picking spots and trying to get Mike involved," said Walker, who is now averaging points, but on only 37 percent shooting. "The more that I was focus on Mike, the easier the game is for everyone else. I just capitalized on the opportunities that I had. I hit those first two 3s and that allowed them to defend me closer, and then I just went around them, used my athleticism and attacked the basket."

Walker, however, also mentioned the play of Beasley (19 points, 11 rebounds ... a ninth double-double in nine games), Blake Young (8 points), Clent Stewart (11 points) and Jacob Pullen (10 points).

"If Blake wasn't hitting those outside shots, I wouldn't have been able to drive," Walker said. "It is all hand and hand."

The victory over the Bears elevates the Wildcat record to 6-3, and stops a two-game losing skid. Walker admitted that it's a young KSU team that needs to learn how to win, but he added, "We have to grow up sometime and I think that we grew up today. When closing out the game, instead of being close and losing, that's not acceptable anymore. We are going to win games.

We grew up a lot today."

K-State next plays on Dec. 17 in Kansas City's Sprint Center against Florida A&M.


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