Valentine records career highs in start

Sophomore guard sets new career-high in points and assists in Michigan State's win.

Stepping into the starting lineup Friday, Michigan State sophomore Denzel Valentine knew he wanted to step up to the challenge.

"A good team like Mount St Mary's, I wanted to try to play my best and Gary (Harris) was out so I needed to step it up," Valentine said. "That's what I tried to do."

With Harris on the bench resting an ankle injury, Valentine went out and recorded a career-high 15 points and seven assists in the 98-65 win.

"They were closing out hard and playing that zone," he said. "There were a lot of open seams and things they were giving me so I just tried to take advantage of that."

Junior guard Travis Trice also stepped into the starting lineup and had 15 points to match Valentine, who said the pair talked about making an impact before the game.

"With Gary being hurt, we had to step it up and pick up scoring and defense," he said. "Me and Travis talked about it early and tried to pick it up for him."

With two new career highs under his belt, the Lansing native said he already is looking to the next game.

"It's always a good feeling to get a career high, but I'm just looking forward to North Carolina on Wednesday. Great team with great history.

"I'm just looking forward to playing a good team like that on a main court."

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