EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Denzel Valentine had 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to help No. 1 Michigan State rout Maryland Eastern Shore 78-35 Wednesday night.
The Spartans (10-0) are off to their best start since the 2000-01 season when they were defending national champions and won the first 12 games.
The Hawks (1-8) had only one player score in double digits. Dominique Elliott had seven of his team’s 16 points in the first half and finished with 11 points.
Valentine and Bryn Forbes combined to score 17 points by halftime when Michigan State led 33-16. Forbes finished with 14 points. The seniors, who were teammates at Lansing Sexton High School, helped turn a three-point lead into a 20-point cushion in the first half.
After a 19-2 run ended, Spartans coach Tom Izzo still found a reason to be upset enough to call a timeout.
Michigan State more than doubled the advantage it had at halftime, building a 39-point lead with 8:53 left. When the Hawks cut their deficit to 67-33, Izzo called a timeout to send another message.
Eron Harris scored nine of his 12 points in the second half for the Spartans. Michigan State’s Marvin Clark scored seven of his nine points after halftime, looking as if he is returning to form after missing the start of the season with an injured left foot.
Maryland Eastern Shore: The Hawks hope to bounce back from a slow start against stiff competition just as they did last year. Maryland Eastern Shore won just two of its first eight games last year in coach Bobby Collins’ debut season, then finished with 18 victories and played in the postseason CIT.
Michigan State: The unselfish Spartans spread the ball around a lot to get many players shots. By the time Michigan State led 53-23 midway through the second half, 10 players in its 12-man rotation had made a shot while the Hawks had combined to make just nine of their first 45 shots.
Maryland Eastern Shore: The Hawks play a second straight Big Ten team, traveling about 130 miles by roads to face No. 6 Maryland on Saturday.
Michigan State: The Spartans host Florida on Saturday in a rematch of the 2000 NCAA final. Michigan State, which beat the Gators to win its second national title, plans to honor the championship team and expects players such as Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and Jason Richardson to come back to campus for the celebration.
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