Texas came out juiced up, and for the second straight game the Longhorns have registered victories over elite programs, Saturday over North Carolina and tonight's win over the Spartans.
Going into the contest Michigan State knew they would have their hands full with senior forward Damion James. At 6-foot-7 James is proving to be one of the nation's top players, as he hurt Michigan State with a 23-point, 13-rebound performance.
The Spartans didn't help their cause in the loss as they turned the ball over 22 times, nearly nine more than their season average. It was also a very uncharacteristic night for Kalin Lucas who struggled on 3-of-11 shooting and 6 turnovers.
Credit has to be given to Texas for playing at a high level of defensive intensity for 40 minutes. The Longhorns raced out to a 9-3 lead to get the crowd going and the hometown fans never let up after that.
State had their chances to beat the Longhorns for the fourth straight time. Korie Lucious gave the Spartans a 31-23 lead on back to back 3-pointers with 5:25 remaining in the first half as Michigan State took a 37-34 lead into the half.
The teams went at it and traded baskets for most of the second half but two uncontested fast break dunks gave Texas a 74-63 lead with 3:22 remaining and the Spartans never threatened again.
The Spartans now falls to 9-3 and will try to get back in the win column December 30th against Texas-Arlington in East Lansing.