And, it wasn't D.J. Augustin.
Freshman Kalin Lucas scored a career-high 18 points, including a
pair of acrobatic layups in a key first-half run, to lead the
Spartans (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 9) to a 78-72 win Saturday night over the
Longhorns (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP).
"We're listed the same, but I think I'm taller and I think I'm
just as good as him,'' Lucas said. "I took this matchup personally
because people have been saying he's the best point guard in the
Augustin was called for his second foul during the game-changing
stretch, going to the bench with the score tied and 5½ minutes left
in the first half.
"It was just a stupid play, and I hurt my team,'' Augustin
said. "I can't do that.''
The Spartans (11-1) then took control with seven straight points
to cap a 13-0 run toward the end of the first half, and didn't let
the Longhorns (11-1) back in it until the final minute.
After Michigan State took a 72-60 lead with 1:15 left, Abrams
made four 3-pointers in 36 seconds to pull Texas within five.
The Longhorns had a chance to get even closer when Lucas missed
two free throws with 23 seconds left, but Raymar Morgan blocked
Augustin's layup to essentially seal the win.
"That was a big-time block,'' Michigan State coach Tom Izzo
Abrams and Augustin scored 24 and 22 points, respectively, but
they combined to shoot 15-of-37 as Texas struggled offensively for
the first time this season against a physical and athletic team.
The Longhorns entered the game shooting 51 percent overall, 44
percent on 3-pointers, and were averaging 84 points with a 22-point
margin of victory.
Michigan State held Texas to 39 percent shooting from the field,
38 percent on 3-pointers, well below its scoring average while stunting the
Longhorns' best start since the 1981-82 season.
The Spartans shot 49 percent and had a season-low seven
"I don't know how much this game is going to help us, but you
can never hurt yourself playing Michigan State,'' Texas coach Rick
Barnes said. "They are the best-coached team in the country. They
are so good fundamentally that you learn from them.''
The setback does not diminish how impressive Texas has been this
season after losing national player of the year Kevin Durant to the
Texas was the first team to beat a pair of ranked teams this
season, UCLA and Tennessee, thanks to Augustin's sensational play
and teammates like Abrams stepping into larger roles with Durant
starring for Seattle.
Michigan State was expected to be good and it has been, proving
itself against stiff competition.
The Spartans are the only team in the current Associated Press
poll to play four ranked teams, beating all but UCLA, which rallied
for the win after trailing by as much as 13.
"It's huge to play these kind of games so early in the season
because the experience can only help you when it really matters in
the tournament,'' Morgan said.
After a sloppy start that saw Texas take a 26-20 lead, Lucas
came off the bench and made a circus shot in the lane and added a
twisting, reverse layup later in the decisive run that put Michigan
State ahead by seven late in the first half. He also had two of his
career-high six rebounds during the run, and finished with six
Lucas was at his best in the marquee game at the Detroit
Pistons' arena, which is about 15 miles from the high school he
starred at in suburban Detroit.
"I told Kalin before the game that playing at home, this could
be his coming-out party,'' Izzo said, "and, it was.''
Michigan State's coach, though, said Augustin lived up to the
"I still think D.J. is the best point guard in the country,''
Izzo said. "You can't guard him one-on-one. You just can't. He's
Bouyea leads San Francisco past Fresno St. 71-63
— Jamaree Bouyea had 27 points as San Francisco defeated Fresno State 71-63 on Wednesday night.
Dixon scores 35 to lead Idaho over S. Dakota St. 98-84
— Mikey Dixon had a career-high 35 points as Idaho beat South Dakota State 98-84 on Wednesday night.
Cal throttles Idaho St. 72-46 with big second half
— Andre Kelly scored 12 points and Lars Thiemann added 12 off the bench and California opened it up in the second half on the way to a 72-46 win over Idaho State on Wednesday night.