Keith Appling scored 19 points, including a brilliant drive with 13.5 seconds left, and No. 21 Michigan State rebounded from a season-opening loss with a 67-64 upset of No. 7 Kansas on Tuesday night.
The Jayhawks (1-1) led 59-54 with 5 minutes remaining, showing signs of taking control in a game that was tight all the way. But Michigan State (1-1) rebounded behind its brilliant guards.
Freshman Gary Harris scored 18 points, including back-to-back baskets that sparked an 8-0 run. Down the stretch, it was all Appling.
He confused the Kansas defense playing off a screen, winding up with an open 3-pointer with 1:35 remaining that pushed Michigan State to a 65-61 lead. Ben McLemore converted a three-point play, but Travis Releford missed a potential tying 3 at the buzzer.
FINAL: Keith Appling scored 19 points to lead No. 22 Michigan State to a 67-64 upset win over No. 7 Kansas on Tuesday at Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The teams traded the lead 11 times in the game.
Michigan State (1-1) shot 52 percent from the field (25-of-48). The Spartans also got double-digit efforts from Branden Dawson, who scored 10 and Gary Harris, who scored 18.
Shooting 67 percent (12-of-18) from the line cost Kansas (1-1) in a close game.
Ben McLemore contributed 14 points, corralled three rebounds, had three assists, and made 5-of-7 shots from the floor for the Jayhawks in a losing effort. Kansas hit 49 percent of its field goals (24-of-49). The Jayhawks also got a solid contribution from Elijah Johnson, who scored 16.
HALFTIME: Nobody has been able to take control of the game thus far as No. 7 Kansas and No. 22 Michigan State traded the lead eight times in the first half. At the half, the Jayhawks lead 35-32.
Freshman Gary Harris had a big first half, with a team-high 11 points. Eleven turnovers plagued the Spartans, who managed to score 18 points in the paint.
Michigan State made 12 of 19 two-point shots in the first half, but shot 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. After already giving up five offensive rebounds to the Spartans, Kansas will have to keep Michigan State off the boards in the second half. The Spartans played team basketball in the first half, to the tune of eight assists on 13 field goals.
The Jayhawks’ Jamari Traylor already has six points and four rebounds.