Bryce Jordan Center
University Park, PA
#5 MSU is sure to move up the national rankings tomorrow, but for today they improved to 16-1 (3-1) as they destroyed Penn State 92-65. The pre-game story was the return of star Denzel Valentine, but the story of the game was the unselfish play of the team that PSU head coach Pat Chambers called, â€œThe #1 team in America.â€
On the day Valentine had 10 points, four assists and four rebounds, but more importantly just getting back was what really mattered. He looked loose and relaxed and if you didnâ€™t compare the stats, you would have never doubted he ever left.
Tom Izzo said of his stars return that, â€œDenzel struggled like we all knew he would. What I love about that kid is that I went at him at halftime because he wasnâ€™t playing with that pizazz.â€
Valentine said in the locker room about being back and how he felt, â€œAs soon as I get out there, Iâ€™m done playing. Iâ€™m just gonna get back to the old me. In the second half I was more comfortable, slowed myself down a little bit, felt aggressive and played like me.â€
PSU head coach Pat Chambers was impressed with the Spartans, saying, â€œI would say two things, that is a really good basketball team. A really really good basketball team. You can see why they are #1 in the country. Forbes set the tone for them and he was unbelievable. MSU beat us in every facet. That is a scary team and I donâ€™t think Matt Costello and Gavin Schilling get as much hype.â€
The Spartans had four players score in double digits. Led by Bryn Forbes with 20, Eron Harris and Gavin Schilling each had 13 and of course Valentineâ€™s 10. Matt Costello had eight points and led the Spartans with nine rebounds.
On the day MSU won the battle of the boards 40-32. MSU shot 50% from the field and had only six turnovers. MSU only had 17 assists on 35 shots.
Izzo also added that, â€œI thought watching Penn State on tape they had been playing pretty well. I thought we did an incredible job. I like this Penn State team, but they are pretty young. McQuaid took two step forwards and three steps back. I get people writing me and telling me to play him (DD) more, but how about some tell him to quit fouling. Three of the four B1G games he had fouling (issues).â€
The Spartans will return to action on Thursday hosting Iowa where the Spartans will try to avenge their only loss on the season. That game tips off at 7PM and can be seen on ESPN.