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Badgers get the best of Beasley

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoOMAHA, Neb. ? For one half, Michael Beasley was a one-man wrecking crew. Unfortunately for him, it was just one half, and he was just one man. And it takes more than that to beat Wisconsin.With the Player of the Year candidate standing between them and a trip to the Sweet Sixteen, the Badgers weren?t about to become the next team to be victimized by Beasley.It didn?t look that way early on, though. Beasley scored 17 points in the first half, one point more than the rest of Kansas State and enough to keep Wisconsin?s lead at just six.Almost single-handedly keeping his team in the game, the forward drew foul after foul on Wisconsin?s big men, forcing them all to log some time on the bench.Greg Stiemsma, Brian Butch, Marcus Landry and Joe Krabbenhoft each had a pair of fouls on them at the break, and it looked like Beasley was starting to wear UW down.And then, almost as suddenly as he burst onto the national scene this season, Michael Beasley disappeared.With his team within striking distance, the freshman started to look less like a potential No. 1 pick in the NBA draft and more like, well, a freshman.?Second half they was ? clamping down a bit more,? Beasley said. ?They was double-teaming, triple-teaming every time I touched the ball so I really couldn?t get the shot I wanted.?Not only could he not find the shots he wanted, but he couldn?t make the shots he took.Beasley scored just two points in the first ten minutes of the second half as Wisconsin took what had been a six-point lead and stretched it to a 13-point one.By the time Beasley rattled home a dunk for his last points of the game, there were less than four minutes to play, and UW?s lead had climbed above 20 points.Though Beasley eventually finished with a respectable 23 points and 13 rebounds, it wasn?t enough to best UW.?I think he?s impossible to stop,? Stiemsma said. ?I think you can just try and contain him. I thought we did a little better job of that in the second half.?Wisconsin didn?t make any dramatic locker room shifts to limit Beasley?s production after the break. Instead, it stuck to the concepts that made it the nation?s stingiest defense over the course of the season.?Didn?t change a thing,? Badger coach Bo Ryan said about the difference in his team?s defense in the second half. ?We did not change one of our principles. We just tried to do them better.?Playing with foul trouble, the array of big men guarding Beasley also realized they had to be more efficient with their fouls.?We didn?t want to give any silly ones,? Krabbenhoft said. ?We wanted to use them. We wanted to send a message, ?you?re not going to get anything easy.??As the game wore on, and Wisconsin?s lead grew, Beasley tried to do more and more to get his team back in the game. But the Badger defense wasn?t willing to make it easy for him.?Here?s the thing with Wisconsin: If you?re down 10 to them, it?s the equal of being down 25 to someone else,? Wildcat coach Frank Martin said. ?So we maybe pressed a little bit too much offensively.?Beasley forced a couple of shots in the second half and showed signs of fatigue as the game wore on. His 37 minutes of action were just one off his season-high, and Wisconsin had the ability to mix things up on him defensively.?We were rotating guys on him,? Krabbenhoft said. ?Throwing different types of players at him. We were just throwing different guys on him, and I think that got to him a little bit.?With little time to prepare for the Kansas State game, Wisconsin didn?t tailor its approach to defense because of Beasley either, opting to stick to its own defensive rules rather than to game plan for him.?We treat him like we treat any other player in the Big Ten, like a D.J. White,? junior Marcus Landry said. ?We just fronted him, make it hard for him to get the ball, make him take tough jump shots.?Of course, it didn?t help Beasley that Kansas State?s other players weren?t doing much to open things up.The Wildcats missed on all 13 of their 3-point attempts, making it easier for the Badger defense to pay more attention to Beasley.?We just couldn?t make shots today,? Wildcat forward Dominique Sutton said. ?It was just one of those days when the rim wasn?t big enough for us.?In the end, Wisconsin was once again able to prove how tough it can be defensively, stopping Beasley and Kansas State to make its way back to the Sweet Sixteen.last_img read more