December 9, 2007

Walker powers Wildcats past Cal

There's little doubt that the gaggle of scouts from various NBA teams had Kansas State freshman Michael Beasley on the brain when they settled into their courtside chairs at Bramlage Coliseum on Sunday. But instead of viewing a historic performance from the most publicized K-State freshman, they were exposed to his teammate as forward Bill Walker used his team's 82-75 win over California to remind everybody just how effective he can be.

Walker, who scored 15 of his career-high 30 points in the game's first half, looked more than comfortable in his second game as a power forward, scoring at will and making his presence know on the defensive end as well.

"Now fours have to guard me," Walker said of his recent position change. "I'm too quick for a four, and I'm way too big for a three. That plays to my advantage."

K-State's sixth win of the season featured four lead changes and four ties in the final four minutes, before a pair of clutch free throws from Walker put the Wildcats up six with 15 seconds to play, ultimately sealing a K-State victory. Walker was 4 for 4 from the free throw line in the contest's final 45 seconds, tacking on an exclamation point to the end of his big night.

K-State (6-3) dominated the glass during the contest, out-rebounding Cal (6-1) by 10, and managed to haul in 22 offensive rebounds during the contest.

"We gave away some opportunities," said Cal head coach Ben Braun. "We gave away 22 offensive rebounds. Those are 22 opportunities we gave back to Kansas State, and they're a good team. We can't give good teams those kind of second-chance opportunities."

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