Google Plus Email List
 

Back-to-School DatesOn-Time TrafficLost & Found PetsDog of the DayNews LinksCommunity CalendarPhoto Galleries
WRGT-TV FOX 45 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Michigan St lacks balance, loses 81-61 in semifinals to Duke

Michigan St lacks balance, loses 81-61 in semifinals to Duke

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Denzel Valentine's start to the Final Four was the stuff of dreams - three quick 3-pointers and an early lead for Michigan State.

He spent the rest of the night looking at a wall of white jerseys.

Valentine finished with 22 points, but the Spartans fell flat after that bright beginning, losing 81-61 to Duke in Saturday night's national semifinal.

"They did a good job of taking me away," Valentine said. "I got hot, and they started denying a little bit, and started forcing us to take bad shots."

After looking so comfortable early on, Michigan State ended up shooting only 40 percent for the game. The Spartans missed 10 of their last 11 shots in the first half, a stretch they couldn't afford against the favored Blue Devils.

So Michigan State's season ended in the national semifinals, and the seventh-seeded Spartans (27-12) looked very much like the underdog at a Final Four that included them and three No. 1 seeds.

"We got beat. Unfortunately I thought Duke played awfully well, but I thought it wasn't one of our better games," said coach Tom Izzo, who is 1-9 against Mike Krzyzewski and Duke. "Give Duke credit, and give our seniors credit for getting us to a place that most people didn't think we'd get to."

The Spartans' run to the Final Four was built on tough defense and timely outside shooting, with Valentine and Travis Trice leading the way. There was never that much offensive balance - and there was none on Saturday.

Trice scored 16 points and Branden Dawson added 12, but Dawson shot only 5 of 12 from the field and was Michigan State's only real offensive threat inside.

Matt Costello scored six points for Michigan State, and nobody else had more than two.

"I think we got kind of frustrated the first half," Valentine said. "We didn't keep our cool a little bit. Led to turnovers and bad shots."

The Spartans could not have asked for a much better start offensively. Valentine made two quick 3s, then Trice added one and Valentine made another. Michigan State led 14-6 and was showing no sign of nerves. A couple of Spartans slapped the floor on defense - a gesture Duke helped popularize years ago, but one Michigan State has become fond of.

"I don't think we started the game out with the intensity that we needed," Duke guard Quin Cook said. "A couple times ... I tried to cheat a ball screen, and Trice and Valentine will make you pay."

It turned out the early advantage was the high point for the Spartans. For the rest of the half, the Blue Devils (34-4) always seemed to have an extra defender ready to cut off Valentine and Trice on the perimeter, practically daring anyone else on Michigan State's team to make a significant contribution.

"They were denying us on the wings, kind of turning us down. Any time they had an opportunity, they switched," Trice said. "That's what made it rough for us to get it on the wings."

With about a minute left in the half, Valentine was knocked to the floor near midcourt and got up limping. He played on, but by then that early groove he and his teammates were in was long gone.

While the Spartans struggled offensively, they had nobody who could match up well inside with Duke star Jahlil Okafor at the other end. And they couldn't keep the Blue Devils off the foul line. Duke went 27 of 37 on free throws, and Dawson, Costello and Gavin Schilling were all in foul trouble down the stretch.

"You know, you're not allowed to touch anybody anymore," Izzo said. "I was here when we had smash-mouth basketball. I totally agree, I don't think that's the right way to do it. But I also don't think, I don't think anybody wants to see the best players on the bench."
Michigan St lacks balance, loses 81-61 in semifinals to Duke

Related Stories

Ohio Sports

Last Update on August 27, 2015 05:31 GMT

BREWERS-INDIANS

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jason Kipnis homered and drove in three runs, and the Cleveland Indians used six pitchers in a 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.

Kipnis, who leads the American League with a .325 batting average, gave Cleveland the lead with a two-run double with the bases loaded in the second inning. He added a solo homer in the eighth.

Rookie right-hander Cody Anderson, starting in place of the injured Carlos Carrasco, allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings. Carrasco, who leads the Indians in wins, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a sore right shoulder.

Jeff Manship (1-0) worked 1 1/3 innings for his first win since April 26, 2014, when he was pitching for Philadelphia against Arizona.

Jimmy Nelson (10-10) allowed five runs and walked eight in 3 1/3 innings in losing for the first time since July 10.

DODGERS-REDS

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Scott Van Slyke, A.J. Ellis and Yasiel Puig all homered during a five-run fourth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers held on for a 7-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

Kike Hernandez added three hits and Adrian Gonzalez chipped in a ninth-inning RBI double for the NL West-leading Dodgers, have won two straight games after a season-high, five-game losing streak.

The Reds, who have lost 11 of their last 12 games and slipped to 1-8 on their 10-game homestand, reached left-hander Brett Anderson for three unearned runs. Anderson (8-8) gave up five hits with one walk, four strikeouts and a wild pitch.

Luis Avilan struck out Jay Bruce with the tying runs on base in the eighth and Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 25th save.

BROWNS-INJURIES

BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- Johnny Manziel's sore right elbow has not responded to rest and the Browns quarterback will likely sit out an exhibition Saturday at Tampa Bay.

Manziel was kept from throwing again Wednesday, the second time this week he's been held out of throwing drills. Browns coach Mike Pettine said Manziel underwent an MRI, which did not reveal any structural damage and the team is deciding the next step in treatment.

Pettine said the team will be cautious with the second-year QB. Pettine said Manziel has been bothered by elbow soreness since high school.

It's possible the Browns will sign another quarterback.

Manziel has had a strong preseason, and Pettine said the elbow injury is only a "minor setback" for the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner.

OHIO STATE-BROWN INJURED

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio State wide receiver Noah Brown injured his left leg during practice Wednesday and will miss the season.

Ohio State released a statement saying Brown would have surgery Thursday and is expected to make a full recovery.

The 6-foot-2, 222-pound Brown saw limited playing time in 13 games as a freshman last season and had one catch for 9 yards. But he was vying for a starting spot for the defending national champions and having a strong preseason. Coach Urban Meyer said last week Brown was one of the most improved players in training camp.

The Buckeyes were already planning to be short-handed at receiver against the Hokies because of suspensions to wideout Corey Smith and H-backs Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson.

Sports Stories

 
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: Sports - High School Hoops Spotlight

    High School Hoops Spotlight

    FOX 45 profiles boys and girls basketball players each Tuesday and we're looking for your nominations. Please email James Rider at jrrider@fox45now.com.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: Sports - Football Friday - Scoreboard

    Football Friday - Scoreboard

    Check out all the scores from Friday night with the Tom Raper RV Scoreboard.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: Sports - Football Friday - Tailgate

    Football Friday - Tailgate

    Every Friday night Sports Director Nathan Baker tailgates at the Game of the Week.  Watch the coaches interviews and get a taste of Football Friday with the Tailgate.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: Sports - Football Friday - Band Blitz

    Football Friday - Band Blitz

    Into the band more then the game?  We have you covered with performances from local bands every Friday night with the Band Blitz.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: Sports - Football Friday - Player of the Week

    Football Friday - Player of the Week

    Only one player can be the MVP of the entire week.  Join us on Mondays as we select the top performer from the previous Friday night as the "sponsor" Player of the Week.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: Sports - Football Friday - Play of the Week

    Football Friday - Play of the Week

    Did your team provide the Play of the Week? Every Friday we pick the most amazing or game changing play.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: Sports - Football Friday - Game of the Week

    Football Friday - Game of the Week

    Every week one game is tabbed as the Game of the Week.  Watch extended highlights from the biggest game of the night.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: Sports - Football Friday - Cheerleader Shout Out

    Football Friday - Cheerleader Shout Out

    Know a cheerleader? Every Friday we get a cheerleader cheer at almost every game we go to. See if your squad made the cut with the Cheerleader Shout Out.
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: Sports - Football Friday - Highlights

    Football Friday - Highlights

    ABC 22 & FOX 45 brings you more games every Friday night than any other local station. Watch the Highlights here
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: Sports - Top 22

    Top 22

    The 7th annual Tom Raper Top 22 helps countdown to the first Football Friday
  • Dayton Ohio News, Weather, Traffic :: Sports - Local Sports

    Local Sports

    Get local sports coverage here!
  • [an error occurred while processing this directive]

more »

Tonight on FOX 45

6:30 pm ..... FOX 45 News at 6:30
7:00 pm ..... The Big Bang Theory
7:30 pm ..... Modern Family
8:00 pm ..... Boom!
9:00 pm ..... Bones
10:00 pm ... FOX 45 News at Ten
11:00 pm ... Modern Family
11:30 pm ... Mike & Molly
12:00 am ... Mike & Molly
12:30 am ... The Simpsons
Complete Schedule»