No. 18 K-State holds on for 73-71 win over UCF

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) -- Michael Beasley is making an unbelievable impression early in his freshman season.  

The power forward from Washington D.C. had 30 points, Jacob Pullen added 19 and No. 18 Kansas State needed overtime to beat Central Florida 73-71 in the Old Spice Classic on Friday night.

 

"He's a tremendous talent and basketball player, and an instinctive basketball player," UCF coach Kirk Speraw said. "It's just not his physical skills, but his instincts. ... And what a great touch and great hands. He has some of the best hands that I've seen."

 

Kansas State (4-1) was coming off an 87-77 upset loss to George Mason Thursday.

 

Jermaine Taylor had 20 points, Dave Noel scored 15 and Mike O'Donnell added 14 for Central Florida (2-2), which forced overtime after overcoming a double-digit second-half deficit.

 

Clent Stewart converted two free throws and Darren Kent hit a 3-pointer to put Kansas State ahead 70-65 four minutes into overtime.

 

"It wasn't anything special," Kent said. "It was a good play and we got it done."

 

Central Florida rallied from a 13-point deficit midway through the second half to tie it at 61-all on a slam dunk by Taylor with 1:06 left in regulation.

 

O'Donnell hit a 3 to pull UCF within 70-68 with 58 seconds remaining. After a Kansas State free throw, O'Donnell made two from the foul line to cut the deficit to 71-70 with 24 seconds to go.

 

Pullen hit two free throws, making it 73-70. UCF's Chip Cartwright made one of two free throws with 6.6 seconds remaining to make it 73-71. Kansas State then escaped with the win when Noel's running jumper bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

 

Pullen helped Kansas State increase a one-point lead at intermission to a 50-37 advantage with 11 minutes left. The freshman guard hit four 3-pointers, including three in a row over a 90-second span that gave the Wildcats the 13-point lead.

 

"That's why we came to this tournament. To challenge our guys," Kansas State coach Frank Martin said. "You saw a bunch of young bucks out there growing up today."

 

Noel and Taylor connected for 3-pointers to cut the UCF deficit to 53-49 at the seven-minute mark.

 

Kansas State fell behind 9-2 five minutes into the game, but overcame the sluggish start thanks to Beasley, who hit a 3-pointer in the final minute to put Kansas State up 27-26 at halftime. He had 15 points during the opening half.

 

"He's going to get his (points)," Speraw said. "We just tried to make him earn each one, and I thought for the most part we made him earn every bucket that he got."

 

Kansas State forward Bill Walker didn't play due to a hyperextended left knee. Walker wanted to play, but was held out as a precautionary move. He had surgery on the knee last January.


Kansas State concludes play at the Old Spice Classic on Sunday when the Wildcats face Rider (3-2) in the fourth-place game at the Milk House.  Tip is set for 12 p.m. CT and will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU with Bob Picozzi (play-by-play) and Len Elmore (analyst) calling the action.

GAME NOTES: With the win, Kansas State snapped a six-game losing streak in overtime games... It was the first overtime win since the Wildcats edged Baylor, 74-73, in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on March 7, 2002... K-State is now 61-35 all-time in overtime games, including 56-29 in single overtime games.