Mich State 79 Marquette 68

Orlando Fla. –#20 Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine shot lights out for a career-high 25 points leading the Spartans (5-1) over Marquette 79-68 in a semifinal at the Orlando Classic. Marquette (3-3) was led by Duane Wilson’s 15 pts and Matt Carlino added 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Marquette opened the game with a 9-4 lead but Mich State had a 13-2 run to lead 35-34 at the half.

Valentine’s two three pointers put MSU up by 7 and they led 57-48 at the 12:00 media timeout. However, two runs by Marquette fueled by 8 consecutive pts by Duane Wilson and later a layup and 2FTs by Carlino kept the game under 10.

Mich State shot .578 for the game from the field, 26 for 45 against Marquette’s surprisingly tough 2-3 matchup zone. Here was the post-game interview on ESPN AM 540- with Steve the Homer True and Jim McIlvaine.

Wojo: I was very proud of our effort until about the 12min mark of the second half when we made a series of poor decisions. My sense was this was a critical stretch. Give them credit they hit shots especially Valentine. They are a really good team and incredibly coached. I think we are making progress. I told the team how proud of how hard we battled. We played as hard or as harder than them the entire game. We have to combine hard work with intelligence. You have to have both max effort and make smart decisions throughout the game.

[Deonte Burton drives vs MSU bigs]

[Mac: MSU is taller but you held your own on the boards with them]

Wojo: “I was proud of that. Guys were battling. We ask a lot from our kids. You could not ask them for the first two games of this tournament to play harder. We have to improve our execution and play smarter at times but our kids are playing their butts off. That was reflected in some of the rebounding stats.

Homer: 1st half…it was a 1 pt game…you were playing the way you wanted…that rim was really tight]

Wojo: “I thought we should have been up at half. We missed point blank lay ups and you cannot leave points on the board against a really good team like Mich State. We should have been leading at halftime.

[Matt Carlino had 14 pts 7 reb and 4asts]

[Duane Wilson…you seem to see a little bit more each game from him.]

Wojo: “He is a freshman and continues to get more comfortable.. What I love about Duane is that Duane is a competitor. It is really important to him to win. When you have that attitude, you will only get better. The skills will come but it is difficult to teach a kid how to win and Duane has that competitive spirit. I think his game is growing because of it.

[Derrick Wilson drives in for 2 of his 7 pts]

[Homer: pts in the paint…MU 36..MSU 18…how many times in 20 yrs has a team dominated Mich State in the paint?]

Wojo: “I thought we drove the ball well [to the paint.] that has to be a really important part of our offense. We did a lot of good things for 32-34 min. To beat Mich State, you need to do it for 40 min.

[Juan Anderson drives in for a fast break lay in]

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