MSU Edged In Top-10 Matchup
Nov 25, 2003
By DOUG TUCKER
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Wayne Simien scored 28 points and No. 6 Kansas withstood a Michigan State rally to beat the No. 3 Spartans 81-74 Tuesday night in college basketball's first marquee matchup of the year.
Kansas, now 2-0 under new coach Bill Self, hit its first six shots of the second half, giving the Big 12 preseason favorites a 54-39 lead over the favorites in the Big Ten.
But Michigan State's Shannon Brown, who had only one point in a first half, hit three straight buckets and ignited a 12-2 run for the Spartans (1-1).
Paul Davis, Michigan State's 6-foot-11 sophomore, sliced the lead to 76-72 with a follow shot at the 2:22 mark.
But on Kansas' next possession, J.R. Giddens rebounded a Michael Lee miss and dunked the ball, bringing the crowd of 16,300 to its feet and putting Kansas on top 78-72.
Lee then rebounded a Davis miss inside and Aaron Miles hit a pair of free throws with 26 seconds to go to seal the win.
Simien, a 6-7 junior who missed 22 games last season with a separated shoulder, had 18 points in the rough-and-tumble first half en route to his career-high 28.
Miles had 17 points and six assists while Keith Langford had 13 points - all in the second half.
The Spartans did not get one blocked shot and committed 24 turnovers while the Jayhawks had seven blocks and only 18 turnovers.
The first 3-pointer of Simien's career gave Kansas a 7-4 lead and the
Jayhawks never trailed. He was 9-for-9 from the foul line and 9-for-12 from the
Giddens, a 6-5 member of the Jayhawks' highly touted freshman class, brought a deafening roar from the crowd when he stole a pass near the Michigan State bucket and drove the length of the court for a thunderous running dunk during an 8-4 run in the first half.
Kansas led by as many as nine points in the first half and went into intermission with a 38-31 lead when Bryant Nash stole an inbounds pass and dished to Miles, who scored on a running layup with 3 seconds left.
The Jayhawks are Michigan State's first stop on a nonconference schedule that shapes up as one of the roughest ever. Before beginning play in the Big Ten, the Spartans will meet Duke, UCLA, Kentucky, Oklahoma and defending champion Syracuse.
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