Sports

Valentine scores 25 points, Michigan State advances to title game by beating Marquette 79-68

  • Marquette forward Deonte Burton (30) shoots over Michigan State guard Branden Dawson, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

    Marquette forward Deonte Burton (30) shoots over Michigan State guard Branden Dawson, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)  (The Associated Press)

  • Marquette guard Derrick Wilson (12) is blocked by Michigan State forward Matt Costello (10) and guard Branden Dawson during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

    Marquette guard Derrick Wilson (12) is blocked by Michigan State forward Matt Costello (10) and guard Branden Dawson during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)  (The Associated Press)

  • Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski applauds during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against the Michigan State in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

    Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski applauds during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against the Michigan State in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)  (The Associated Press)

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo wasn't totally enamored with the Spartans' victory over Marquette.

Denzel Valentine had a career-high 25 points and No. 20 Michigan State beat Marquette 79-68 on Friday night in the Orlando Classic semifinals.

"What we shot from all areas, we should have won by a lot," Izzo said. "But because we turned it over, because we didn't do our assignments defensively and a team just drove it, drove it, drove it, we were in a dogfight. We sure ain't blue collar, so we're going to see if can get back to blue color."

"Give them a lot of credit, I'm telling you that team played hard," Izzo added about Marquette. "I loved that team tonight. Marquette played harder than us. We won the game because I think we're a little better, but I didn't enjoy a lot of it. The tougher team lost tonight."

Travis Trice added 19 points for Michigan State (5-1).

Marquette (3-3) got 15 points from Duane Wilson. The Golden Eagles could get no closer than six points over the game's final three minutes.

"Basically I told my guys I was proud of them," Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski said. "I was proud of their effort, their energy and how hard they worked. But in order to beat a quality team like Michigan State, it's got to be more than effort. You have to combine a 40-minute effort with smart decisions for 40-minutes."

Marquette's Matt Carlino, coming off a tournament-record 38 points Thursday in a 72-70 victory over Georgia Tech, had 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Valentine opened the second half with consecutive 3s as Michigan State went up 41-34. He had set a career-high with 19 points in the Spartans 77-45 victory Thursday over Rider.

Another trey by Valentine and an in-close basket by Branden Dawson made it 57-47 8 minutes into the second.

After Carlino got his first two points of the half from the free-throw line, Valentine hit a 3, Lourawls Nairn Jr. had a fast-break basket and Trice connected on a transition 3-pointer to extended the Spartans lead to 65-49 with 11 minutes to go.

The Golden Eagles had an 8-0 surge, including two free throws by Carlino, to pull within 65-57. Carlino made his first shot of the second half, a layup, with 6 minutes to play.

Trice made two free throws in the final minute to give Michigan State a 35-34 halftime lead.

Carlino missed his first six shots before hitting a 3 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the first half that got Marquette within 28-25. His second trey put the Golden Warriors ahead 34-33 1:43 before intermission.

Carlino had six points during the opening 20 minutes.

Michigan State used a 13-2 run, including a pair of long-range jumpers by Valentine, to go ahead 17-11 with 11 minutes remaining.

TIP-INS

Michigan State: The Spartans shot 26 for 45 (57.8 percent). ... Michigan State leads the series 32-23.

Marquette: Carlino has 52 points through two of three tourney games. The tournament record is 73, set by Kansas State's Michael Beasley in 2007. Marquette's Lazar Hayward scored 70 points, second-most at the classic, in 2009.

BALL CONTROL

Michigan State had 16 turnovers, compared to Marquette's 12. The Golden Eagles won the rebound battle 29-28.

UP NEXT

Michigan State will face No. 11 Kansas in Sunday's championship game.

Marquette will play Tennessee for third place.