Wayne Simien's 28 points led the Jayhawks and kept Michigan State defenders in foul trouble throughout the game. MSU used a combination of forwards Delco Rowley, Jason Andreas and freshman Drew Naymick in an attempt to keep Simien off the offensive glass to no avail.
Instead it was MSU's sophomore forward Paul Davis who was kept in check by the Jayhawks tough interior defense. Davis was held to just 13 points and four rebounds.
But it was turnovers that were costly to the Spartans. MSU committed 24 turnovers that led directly to 34 Kansas points.
MSU head coach Tom Izzo was not pleased with the Spartans failure to take care of the ball. "I was really disappointed with the casualness of the turnovers and the way some of them occurred," said Izzo.
"Our turnovers were almost criminal," Izzo said. "You have to give Kansas a lot of credit for a few of them, but not 24. You can't do that in a place like this."
"You look at the 34 points off turnovers and then you look at the number of free throws, and I don't know how we were in the game. I guess we were a little better offensively than I thought and a little better defensively."
Especially were they offensively, thanks to a high-profile freshman who came off the bench to ignite a 12-2 Spartan rally. Shannon Brown, from Chicago's Proviso East high school, hit three straight shots to start the Green and White comeback.
With just inside of four minutes remaining, Michigan State pulled to within four points of the Jayhawks behind Maurice Ager, who finished with a team high 17 points, nailing two three-pointers and Davis adding two more on an offensive put back, but that was as close as the Spartans would get.
MSU, now 1-1 will now regroup and prepare for the Coca-Cola classic which will be held at the Breslin Center in East Lansing Saturday and Sunday before facing Duke in the Big Ten/ACC challenge in East Lansing next Wednesday night.