By Steve Lansdale
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — A day after upsetting No. 7 North Carolina, the Texas basketball team jumped out to an early 25-8 lead over No. 11 Michigan State, raising the possibility that the Longhorns could win the Las Vegas Invitational.
Coaches often talk about halftime adjustments and teams’ ability to fix what was not working early. Michigan State, which trailed, 44-36, at the intermission, roared to life in the second half, outscoring Texas, 42-24, in the second half en route to a 78-68 victory over the Longhorns,
Guard Kerwin Roach, who sparked the upset over UNC, led the UT offense Friday with 15 points and a team-high five assists. Guard Matt Coleman and forward Dylan Osetkowski each chipped in with 13,
The Longhorns were opportunistic, at least early on, turning 24 Michigan State turnovers into 22 points; by comparison, MSU got a total of three points off 10 Texas turnovers.
Part of the difference was on the glass: Michigan State outrebounded Texas, 42-23. Three Spartans had at least as many boards as Jericho Sims’ team-leading six.
MSU’s Joshua Langford led all scorers with 29 points, hitting 10 of 16 shots, including five of six from beyond the three-point arc.
The other main difference was in shooting: the Longhorns connected on 34.4 percent of their shots (22 of 64), while the Spartans hit 26 of 51 percent (51.0 percent).
The Longhorns now have a week to regroup before hosting Redford at 6 p.m. next Friday, Nov. 30 at the Frank Erwin Center that will be shown on the Longhorn Network.