Kevin C. Cox
The Spartans scored last in a seesaw contest with the Jayhawks to get the season-opening victory, 67-64, on Tuesday night.
In a back-and-forth battle, the Michigan State Spartans edged the Kansas Jayhawks, 67-64, in the final seconds to win Tuesday night.
Junior guard Keith Appling split the Kansas defense and scooped in a layup to give the Spartans the 67-64 lead with 12.6 seconds to play, and the Jayhawks couldn't get a tying three to fall as time was running out. Appling led the Spartans with 19 points.
The Spartans, as they did most of the night, fell behind, 59-54, with about five minutes left to play in the contest. Following a timeout, they ripped off an 8-0 run to reclaim the lead. With a one-point lead and less than two minutes to go, Appling drilled a three-pointer to give Michigan State the 65-61 lead.
With less than a minute to play, Ben McLemore got the Jayhawks back within one after making a layup, getting fouled and converting the free throw. Following another Spartans timeout, Appling's layup gave Michigan State the deciding 67-64 lead after Kansas couldn't get the last second three-pointer to drop.
The Jayhawks held a 35-32 lead at the break after a tooth-and-nail opening half in which the biggest lead for either side was Kansas's five-point, 33-28, lead. The second half began with Kansas jumping out to a 40-34 advantage early on before Michigan State again began to battle back.