Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 13, 2015
CHICAGO — Michigan State will get another shot at revenge vs. Maryland.
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The Spartans beat rival Ohio State, 76-67, in the Big Ten quarterfinals Friday night to advance to the semifinals Saturday vs. Maryland, which swept the Spartans in the regular season.
Get BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart's rapid reaction Michigan State's win below.
Star player: Denzel Valentine came to play tonight, knocking down 23 points in the win for the No. 3 Spartans over No. 6 Ohio State. Valentine hit 9-of-14 shots (3-of-7 bombs) to go along with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. MSU will take on No. 2 Maryland tomorrow. The Spartans got swept by the Terps in the regular season.
Top stat: 23, assists Michigan State had on 29 baskets. That's an assist on 79 percent of its buckets! Branden Dawson and Denzel Valentine led the way with seven assists apiece; the seven dimes marked a career-high for Dawson.
Top stat line: Branden Dawson, who missed the last game and a half due to a head injury, had a strong all-around ?Branden Dawson-like game.? Check out this line: 14 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and a steal. The guy was all over the court-dabbling in a bit of everything.
Top dunk: If you got to your seat late, you may have missed this. With Michigan State pushing it, Travis Trice missed a layup. But Gavin Schilling was trailing and slammed home the ball for a roof-raising tip-in dunk.
And I?ll give you one more from the second half, when Branden Dawson picked up an Ohio State turnover and then threaded a nice pass up court to Denzel Valentine who slammed it home.
Top milestone: Travis Trice became the 47th player in Michigan State history to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau. The senior, in typical fashion, was a beast in the second half, scoring 15 of his 18 points.
The finisher: Michigan State led, 38-26, at the half. Ohio State cut the MSU lead to five early-40-35– in the second half, but the Spartans pulled away. Michigan State fed off missed shots and turnovers, getting out in transition often while mixing in some 3-pointers, too. At one point, the Spartan lead was 16 points. OSU chipped away again but never could get over the hump.
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|
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