The Kansas Jayhawks got a nice early season test inside Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, Tuesday night, but fell to Michigan State 67-64 at the Champions Classic.
The game was a nip and tuck affair through with the Jayhawks building as much as a seven-point lead before a Spartans rally gave them the lead as time wound down.
Michigan State’s Keith Appling hit two of the biggest shots in the game to hurt the Jayhawks cause.
First, he nailed a three pointer with 1:38 to play to give them a 65-61 lead. KU’s Ben McLemore would follow with a three point play, as he scored and drew a foul to pull the Jayhawks back to within one. On the ensuing possession, Appling drove in and scored on a layup to increase the lead to three.
Kansas’ Travis Releford would miss a three at the buzzer to tie, sending the Jayhawks to a 1-1 record on the young season. Michigan State improves to 1-1.
Appling led the way for State with 19 points. Gary Harris chipped in 18 points.
Kansas was led by senior Elijah Johnson, who poured in 16 points. McLemore scored 14. Releford scored eight, while senior center Jeff Withey scored eight and hauled in seven rebounds.
The Jayhawks won’t have much time to lick their wounds, as they’ll quickly return home and prepare for their next game, as they welcome UT-Chattanooga to Allen Fieldhouse, Thursday night at 7:00.