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Q. I asked on Monday about playing a team you've beaten twice by an average of 17 points and staying motivated, which you were. And he said he put it on your four seniors to get there. Will you talk about the mindset in the locker room? Because clearly you had it.
Matt Costello: I would say it didn't start in the locker room. It started last night with the seniors. We kind of had a talking and group text, just that we needed to focus today, and it was our job to get everybody ready. Like Zel said, we have better goals to play for. It's not the just fact that we beat Ohio State twice already by 17 apiece, but we have bigger things to play for, so we have to be ready.
Q. Seeing the upset games against Indiana and Iowa earlier in the tournament, do you think that gave you guys a little extra coming into this game?
MATT COSTELLO: Yes. We saw that those two teams didn't come out with as much fire as they had throughout the season. They took it slow. So we had to be ready to play when we came here today, and I felt like we did our job.
#2 MICHIGAN STATE
Michigan State Spartans move on to Saturday’s Big Ten Tournament semifinals and will face the winner of the #3 Maryland/#11 Nebraska game. This will be the Spartans’ sixth consecutive appearance in the semifinals and their 13th overall.
The Spartans have won 11 of their last 12 games, improving their record to 27-5. MSU has a 6-1 record in its last seven Big Ten Tournament games.
Including tonight’s game, MSU and Ohio State have played in three of the Spartans’ five most recent games. MSU won each game by an average margin of victory of 20.3 points.
For his career, Tom Izzo’s coaching record is 98-42 (.700) in the month of March. Izzo has the best record of any other coach in the Big Ten Tournament with .767 (23-7)
Denzel Valentine came into the game averaging 19.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game. Tonight, he totaled 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Valentine now has 1,599 career points, passing Morris Peterson (1,588 points, 1996-2000) and Raymar Morgan (1,597, 2007-10) into 11th place on MSU’s all-time scoring list. In tenth place is Mike Robinson with 1,717 points (1972-74).
Over a span of his last 11 games, Bryn Forbes has made 53 of his 95 three-point field goal attempts (.558). Three of those games were against Ohio State and Forbes hit 11-of-24 triples (7-of-10, 1-of-6, and 3-of-8). For the season, he’s made 107 three-pointers, trailing only Drew Neitzel (114, 2006-07) and Shawn Respert (119, 1994-95).
MSU hit five straight shots in the first half from 16:56 to 13:55, but from that point until the intermission shot just 5-of-22 (.227). In the second half, the Spartans shot considerably better (20-of-33, .606).
Michigan State held Ohio State to just 1-of-11 (.091) shooting from long distance, the best effort this season (.118 vs. Binghamton, 12/5/15). The Spartans entered tonight’s game allowing their opponents only .306 success from beyond the arc.