Tag: Tom Izzo

Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine drives against Northeastern during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Boston Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
AP Photo/Winslow Townson

No. 12 Michigan State makes 16 3s, beats Northwestern 76-45

Leave a comment

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Denzel Valentine made five of Michigan State’s season-high 16 3-pointers and the 12th-ranked Spartans clamped down on cold-shooting Northwestern for a 76-45 victory Thursday night.

Valentine finished with 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds as the Spartans (18-4, 5-4 Big Ten) beat the Wildcats for the seventh straight time. Matt McQuaid scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half, and freshman Deyonta Davis had eight points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots.

Northwestern (15-7, 3-6) shot a season-low 20.7 percent from the field in its fourth consecutive loss. It finished with more free throws (17) than field goals (12).

Bryant McIntosh had 14 points on 4-for-15 shooting for the Wildcats, and Aaron Falzon finished with 11 points. Redshirt senior Tre Demps was 2 for 14 from the field, missing each of his seven 3-point attempts.

Valentine scored 14 points in the first half, and then focused on more of a distributing role as the Spartans pulled away in the second half.

Northwestern closed to 41-29 on Alex Olah’s two free throws with 16:44 left, but Michigan State responded with a 13-2 run. McQuaid had the final 11 points of the spurt, including three 3s – two of them coming off passes from Valentine.

It just got worse from there for the Wildcats, with little-used Matt Van Dyk giving the Spartans their biggest lead of the game with a fast-break dunk in the final seconds. Michigan State shot 51 percent (28 for 55) from the field, including its 16-for-26 night from long range.

TIP-INS

Michigan State: Valentine’s 3-pointer with 8:06 left in the second half moved him past Julius McCoy (1,377) for No. 23 on the school’s career scoring list. … The Spartans’ previous season high was 12 3-pointers in a 78-35 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Dec. 9.

Northwestern: The Wildcats have one game left in their first stretch of four straight against ranked opponents since the 1989-90 season. They take on No. 3 Iowa on Sunday. … Northwestern went 17 for 19 from the free-throw line, compared to 4 for 4 for the Michigan State.

UP NEXT

Michigan State: hosts Rutgers on Sunday.

Northwestern: visits No. 3 Iowa on Sunday.

Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

No. 11 Michigan State suffers third straight defeat

Michigan State's Denzel Valentine drives against Nebraska during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Associated Press
2 Comments

Earlier this week Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo took responsibility for his team’s issues on the defensive end, as the Spartans’ adjustment to the points of emphasis announced before the season began hasn’t come as quickly as many expected. Wednesday night the struggles continued, as Michigan State couldn’t find an answer to the riddle that was Nebraska senior wing Shavon Shields.

Shields was outstanding, leading all scorers with 28 points, shooting 12-for-20 from the field, to lead the Huskers to a 72-71 win in East Lansing. Michigan State, which had a final shot at the win but Denzel Valentine’s jumper as time expired missed the mark, has now lost its last three conference games and has a 3-4 record in conference play.

With Iowa, which has already swept the season series, and Indiana both without a conference loss the Spartans’ chances of hoisting the Big Ten regular season title may have fallen by the wayside with this defeat.

Defense was once again the culprit, as Nebraska shot 50 percent from the field on the night. Tim Miles’ team isn’t going to rack up the assists, as they entered Wednesday’s with just over 48 percent of their made baskets being of the assisted variety. Instead, they use the likes of Shields, Tai Webster and Glynn Watson to break down opposing defenses, with mixed results to this point in the season.

That wasn’t the case against Michigan State, with the Spartans playing without their best perimeter defender in Tum Tum Nairn for the second consecutive game and at times seemingly afraid to make any kind of contact. Outside of Eron Harris the Spartans didn’t have the early foul trouble they’ve endured in recent games, but they still had issues slowing down Shields and his teammates throughout Wednesday’s game.

Also of note was the off night experienced by Bryn Forbes, who scored three points on 1-for-8 shooting. The senior’s struggled in two of Michigan State’s last three games, as Anthony Clemmons held him in check in Iowa’s win in East Lansing last week, and this comes after scoring 17 points or more in three straight games. In addition to needing to do a better job of adjusting defensively, the Spartans need to get to the point where both Forbes and Eron Harris are clicking on the wings at the same time.

That should come in time, but the bigger concern in the defense. Once again Michigan State struggled on that end of the floor, and while they did have a final chance to grab the win it proved to be too much to overcome.

No. 5 Michigan State routs Illinois 79-54 without Valentine

Michigan State's Bryn Forbes (5) pressures Illinois' Jaylon Tate (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 79-54. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Associated Press
Leave a comment

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Bryn Forbes scored 17 points to help No. 5 Michigan State rout Illinois 79-54 on Thursday night.

The Spartans (15-1, 2-1 Big Ten) were without Denzel Valentine for a fourth straight game. Valentine participated in pregame warmups and might play at Penn State on Sunday, nearly three weeks after having surgery on his left knee.

The Illini (8-8, 0-3) didn’t have leading-scorer Kendrick Nunn, who the team said stayed in Illinois for the birth of his child.

Maverick Morgan had 15 points and Malcolm Hill scored 10 for Illinois. The Illini made barely more than one-fourth of their shots in the first half and allowed the Spartans to connect on 61 percent of their shots before halftime.

Eron Harris scored 13 and Matt McQuaid had a career-high 10 points for the Spartans.

TIP-INS

Illinois: The short-handed Illini called timeouts, trying to slow down Michigan State, and one of their banged-up players had a lot to say to his teammates in the huddle during one of the second-half breaks. Tracy Abrams, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, shouted at his teammates to keep playing hard even though they trailed by 30 points.

Michigan State: Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has been encouraging McQuaid to be more aggressive offensively. The freshman guard made two 3-pointers and a driving, layup in the first half and scored eight points in seven minutes before halftime. Nine Spartans scored in the first 20 minutes, helping them lead 47-22.

UP NEXT

Illinois hosts No. 20 Purdue on Sunday.

Michigan State plays at Penn State on Sunday.