Broncos Battle, Fall 77-67 to #3 Spartans
Nov. 27, 2015
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) Denzel Valentine scored a career-high 32 points, hitting five consecutive 3-pointers to break open a tight game in the second half, and No. 3 Michigan State defeated Boise State 77-67 Friday in the semifinals of the DirecTV Wooden Legacy.
Valentine followed up his second triple-double this season in Thursday's 31-point victory over Boston College with stellar perimeter shooting that bailed out the Spartans (6-0) against the scrappy Broncos (3-3), giving coach Tom Izzo his 501st career win.
Valentine had seven 3-pointers, tying his career high set last season. The senior made all nine of his free throws, including four in the last 22 seconds. He also had nine rebounds and six assists.
The Spartans took their first double-digit lead early in the second half before the Broncos scored eight straight points to trail 40-37. Duncan hit a 3 and converted a three-point play. Boise State closed to 43-42 on a 3-pointer by Anthony Drmic and a basket by Duncan.
Valentine single-handedly took over for the Spartans, hitting two 3-pointers from the same spot on the floor on consecutive possessions. His next two 3s pushed Michigan State's lead to 55-44. Even when Valentine finally missed - his next 3 bounced off the rim - he got fouled and made all three for a 58-46 lead.
The Spartans took their largest lead, 63-50, on a dunk by Deyonta Davis, who finished with 12 points.
Davis carried the Spartans during a crucial stretch in which the Broncos cut their deficit to 65-59. The freshman's dunk was part of his own 8-0 run that included another dunk in transition off Boise State's turnover to put Michigan State ahead 67-59.
Thompson scored four points and Montigo Alford added five in Boise State's last big run.
Michigan State never led by more than three in the game's opening minutes. The Broncos ran off nine straight points from four different players to take a 21-14 lead. The Spartans answered with a 19-7 run to close the first half leading 33-28. Tum Tum Nairn and Valentine scored five each, and Kenny Goins had two dunks.
Lonnie Jackson hit a 3-pointer on the last play of the period for the Broncos, who shot 33 percent in the half.
Boise State: Thompson has scored in double figures in five of Boise State's six games this season and has 36 assists to 10 turnovers.
Michigan State: Valentine's six assists tied Steve Smith for 10th in school history with 453. ... No opponent has shot 50 percent or better from the field so far.
Boise State will play the No. 11 Arizona-Providence loser in Sunday's third-place game.
Michigan State will play the No. 11 Arizona-Providence winner in Sunday's championship game.
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