Spartans struggle in second half of loss

Michigan State drops to Kansas in the title game of the Orland Classic on Saturday as it hit just 8 of 33 from the field in the second half.

It was a struggle offensively for Michigan State throughout the second half of Saturday’s 61-56 loss to Kansas.

In the title game of the Orlando Classic, the Spartans hit just 8 of 33 shots from the field – and 1 of 9 from 3-point range – after taking a 36-35 lead into the half.

The struggles were highlighted by a bevy of missed layups, including Branden Dawson’s miss at the rim with less than a minute left and trailing by three.

Dawson finished with eight points on just 4 of 15 shooting, while fellow senior Travis Trice had 14 points on 3 of 14 shooting.

The game was in Michigan State’s favor early, as the Spartans used a hot start from Denzel Valentine to take a lead as big as seven in the first half.

But as MSU went hit just one of its first 12 field-goal attempts in the second half, Kansas opened up a seven-point lead.

Michigan State chipped away at the lead, pulling within three when Travis Trice hit a 3-pointer with 1:37 to go. That would be the final basket for the Spartans, though, as Dawson missed a jumper with 52 seconds to go and then a layup on the ensuing possession.

Valentine finished with 14 points and hit 3 of 5 from 3-point range.

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