Despite the Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team having a two-point, 38-36 lead at halftime, the Longhorns fell to the No. 5 Michigan State Spartans 92-78.
The Spartans’ Adreian Payne had a career-high 33 point game against the Longhorns on a 10-for-13 shooting night. Payne hit 11-for-12 from the foul line as well.
“Adreian Payne was terrific,” said Head Coach Rick Barnes. “We needed to make Adreain Payne defend and we didn’t do that.”
“They definitely out-executed us and were the better team,” Coach Barnes said. “They out rebounded us. The biggest area we have to improve in is listening. If (the players) don’t listen we’re aren’t going to be able to execute.”
The Longhorns had four players finish with double-digit points. Cameron Ridley led the Longhorns with 17 points (13 points in the first half) and Ridley just missed his opportunity for a double-double with nine rebounds.
Ridley also matched his career high with seven made free throws on 10 attempts.
Isaiah Taylor finished with 16 points and heated up late in the game after only scoring three points in the first half.
Taylor went a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line in the loss.
Javan Felix and Jonathan Holmes added 11 points each in the Longhorns’ loss on Saturday evening.
Felix reached double figures for the ninth time this season and for the 18th time in his career.
Holmes finished 5-of-6 from the free throw line and has made 24 of his last 25 free throw attempts.
“It was probably the best game for Payne of his career,” said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.
“We have to learn how to play for 40 minutes, especially against a good team like Michigan State,” said Javan Felix. “They’re very well coached and experienced.”
“We came out flat and got stagnant on offense and that hurt our defense,” Javan Felix said. “They were able to finish the game.”
“We knew Michigan State was going to come out fighting, we just didn’t match their intensity in the second half,” said Isaiah Taylor.
The game between the Longhorns and Spartans featured nine lead changes and nine ties despite the 14-point loss.
The Longhorns were ahead 38-36 at halftime after Felix hit a mid-range jumper from the elbow with a little over two seconds remaining.
In the game the Longhorns were out-rebounded by the Spartans 43-33 and Michigan State did most of their damage on points-in-the-paint (32) and points off the bench (36).
Texas cut the lead to 12 points with 2:17 remaining in the game, when Demarcus Holland hit a three-pointer from the left wing.
Isaiah Taylor finished a layup and drew a hard foul with 1:47 left to cut the lead to 85-74 after he hit the and-one opportunity.
Cameron Ridley scored on a put back dunk with 1:29 remaining to cut it to a 10-point game.
Isaiah Taylor continued his heat streak and finished a layup in the paint to cut the lead to single digits with a little over a minute remaining.
That was the closest the Longhorns would come to a comeback against the Spartans.
“We weren’t very good defensively,” Barnes said. “I love this team because they really work for each other.”
Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo had high praise for the Texas basketball team and Coach Barnes. He said that this was a young team that may not be the most talented team that Coach Barnes has had in the past, but it’s one of the best in terms of team chemistry and how well they play together on the court.