Longhorns smother Spartans 67-55
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) --The scoreboard at Michigan State's arena malfunctioned.
The Spartans did on the court, too.
Jordan Hamilton scored 21 points, Tristan Thompson had 17 points and 15 rebounds and No. 18 Texas beat No. 12 Michigan State 67-55 on Wednesday night.
The Longhorns (10-2) became the first nonconference team to win at the Breslin Center since Duke on Dec. 3, 2003, snapping a 52-game winning streak.
"That means a lot," Hamilton said. "Michigan State is a great program."
The Spartans (8-4) have advanced to half of the past 12 Final Fours, winning the 2000 national title, but they've got to improve a lot to make it to college basketball's next showcase. They have failed to live up to their preseason billing as the second-ranked team in country with only one quality win over then-No. 13 Washington in the Maui Invitational and four losses in a nine-game stretch.
"We have to regroup," Michigan State's inconsistent shooting guard Durrell Summers said.
Texas trailed only once in the first half and once just after halftime on Michigan State's home court, where Tom Izzo has won nearly 92 percent of his games over the last 14 years.
"We got beat by a better team," Izzo said.
The Longhorns were too athletic and aggressive on both ends of the court for the turnover-prone and poor-shooting Spartans, but their coach didn't want to make too much of the streak-breaking win.
"I did tell the team, `It's December,'" Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "Hopefully, it'll help us later on."
Michigan State's Kalin Lucas scored 17 points and didn't have much help. Lucas moved past Morris Peterson on the school's all-time list and into a 10th-place tie with Raymar Morgan with 1,597 points.
The Spartans' do-it-all forward, Draymond Green, fouled out with 5:12 left, shortly after making his first field goal on his eighth attempt. Green finished with a season-low four points and eight rebounds.
Summers had a slow start before making shots toward the end of the first half to help Michigan State get within a point at halftime after trailing by as many as eight. Summers, though, scored just two points in the second half and finished with nine.
"Our best players have to play better," Izzo said.
Michigan State freshman Adreian Payne, who got his first start, had a putback for the first basket of the second half to give the Spartans their second and final lead.
"It could've been a great opportunity for us," Summers said. "We just couldn't get a basket or key stop. They were pretty athletic at every position."
The Longhorns took control with a 16-3 run, scoring on dunks and layups in the open court off turnovers and making 3-pointers in half-court sets.
"In the second half, we played harder on the defensive end and our defense led to offense," Hamilton said.
Gary Johnson scored 14 points for Texas, which held the Spartans to 29 percent shooting and scored 19 points off their 16 turnovers.
The Longhorns have won four straight -- including impressive back-to-back wins over North Carolina in Greensboro and on Michigan State's home court -- and also have a win over Illinois.
"I think this is the most talented team we've played so far," said Izzo, whose team lost on the road to top-ranked Duke, against Connecticut in Maui and to Syracuse in New York.
Izzo coached the Spartans after serving a one-game suspension because the school employed someone associated with a potential recruit during a basketball camp in June. The person was paid $475 for five days to work with middle school-aged campers.
At times, Izzo displayed his vintage rage -- screaming at his players during timeouts -- and sometimes stood silently and seemed to stare at no one in particular.
Izzo was livid after the Spartans lost by 14 to Syracuse a couple weeks ago, but sounded simply discouraged after the latest double-digit defeat.
"We'll bounce back," Izzo said softly as if he was trying to convince himself.
Updated December 22, 2010