It looked like Texas might pull off its second victory in four days over a ranked team well into the second half Saturday at home against No. 5 Michigan State, but the Longhorns had no answer for Adreian Payne.
Michigan State's center scored a career-best 33 points and was one of three Spartans to grab at least nine rebounds in the 92-78 win.
Michigan State took control on the boards in the second half and it led to the Spartans scoring 56 points in the half.
Payne wrestled with the idea of turning pro last spring after helping lead the Spartans to the Sweet 16 and blossoming in the second half of the season. Payne likely would be on an NBA roster somewhere if he had turned pro, but his decision to stay is looking like a good one.
Payne is playing at an All-American level averaging 16.6 points and 7.8 rebounds to this point in the season. He picked up the slack against the Longhorns when Keith Appling and Garry Harris got off to sluggish starts.
Harris eventually found a way to score by getting to the free throw line. He finished with 19 points. Appling had a tough all-around day making just two of 11 shots and fouling out.
Payne made 10 of 13 shots and 11 of 12 free throws for his best scoring day. Prior to this season, Payne had scored 20 points in a game only once in three years. He has scored 20 or more four times in the first 11 games this season and scored 19 in two other games.
Texas won at North Carolina earlier in the week. The Tar Heels are the only team to beat the Spartans so far this season.
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