AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Like it did against North Carolina, Texas controlled most of the first half against Michigan State. The only difference was how the Longhorns performed in the second half.
Texas was outrebounded, 25-13, and allowed the Spartans to take 29 free throws in the final 20 minutes. Adreian Payne scored 19 of his career-high 33 points in the second half as Michigan State picked up its most lopsided win over Texas in school history during a 92-78 victory.
Yet it wasn't rebounding, defense or shooting that Texas head coach Rick Barnes was most displeased about.
"The biggest area we need to improve in is listening," Barnes said. "We didn't listen the way we needed to. If you don't listen, you're not going to execute."
Payne hit 10 of his 13 shots from the floor and knocked down 11 of 12 attempts from the free throw line. He hit a pair of free throws to complete a 14-2 run Michigan State used to put the game away over a 4:22 stretch midway through the second half.
"Payne got off scotch-free in the second half because we didn't make him defend," Barnes said. "Michigan State, they weren't No. 1 a couple weeks ago for no reason. They beat us. We really needed to make Adreian Payne defend. We didn't do that."
Appling, battling a hip pointer, had one of the worst shooting days of his career, connecting on only 2 of 11 attempts from the floor.
Payne was one of six Spartans to score during that 14-2 run. Branden Dawson, who had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, started with a layup. Gary Harris, who missed three of the previous four games with an ankle injury, followed with a 3-point play.
Between Gavin Schilling's putback and Travis Trice's 3-pointer, Appling got a layup to go, one of his few bright moments. But the way he responded after the game was one of Izzo's favorite moments of the game.
"Listening to him after the game, thanking the guys for picking him up was maybe as big a part of this as the win," Izzo said. "We came down here Thursday night because of plane issues. I wasn't really happy about that but it turned out to be really good because we got to spend a little team time. I think our team grew a little bit."