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A few hours apart in Titan Gymnasium on Friday, a pair of national player of the year candidates put on different but equally impressive individual displays.
The basketball team has back to back games against Providence and Louisville as opportunities to get two additional marquee victories under their belt before the first full week of December is complete. The first game against the Providence Friars will take place tonight at approximately 10:00PM EST (ESPN2) as the Spartans try to win the Wooden Legacy championship.
Bryn Forbes scored 18 points and Deyonta Davis had six of his 12 points in a game-ending spurt to help No. 3 Michigan State rally past Providence 77-64 in the championship game of the DirecTV Wooden Legacy on Sunday night. Denzel Valentine added 17 points, six rebounds and five assists to earn most outstanding player honors, and Eron Harris had 12 points for the Spartans (7-0). They beat Boston College by 31 points in their opener and Boise State by 10 on their way to wrapping up the title.
Box Score | Post Game Notes
Audio: Pregame | Full Game | Postgame Spartan Sports Network
Michigan State pulls away late to win Wooden Legacy over Providence MLive
Michigan State finally had a game that wasn't the Denzel Valentine show. But the Spartans learned their complementary players can step up when called on and deliver a critical win. The Spartans beat Providence, 77-64, to take the Wooden Legacy championship Sunday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
MSU basketball takes Wooden Legacy crown with 77-64 victory over Providence State News
The No. 3 MSU basketball team (7-0) used a 20-7 run in the last five minutes Sunday night to defeat the Providence Friars (6-1), 77-64 to take the Wooden Legacy crown in Anaheim, Calif.
No. 3 MSU shows early season resolve in title win Detroit News
You wouldn't have believed it earlier in the tournament, when Denzel Valentine was making everything in sight and putting Michigan State on his lean back, but there are going to be nights like this. And on a night when Valentine wasn't at his best, and when Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn was struggling too, the rest of the Spartans scraped and clawed and stepped up to lead the Spartans past Providence, 77-64, on Sunday night to win the Wooden Legacy tournament championship.
Michigan State Basketball: MSU 77 - Providence 64 Recap The Only Colors
MSU won the Wooden Legacy giving the Spartans a 7-0 record for the second time in the last three years
Tom Izzo sounds off on new rules after Michigan State's win over Providence MLive
"I think I can voice my opinion and say I don't agree with it," Izzo said. "...Why do you want the best players on the bench? Why do we want a free throw contest?"
Izzo frustrated over tighter rules Detroit News
"I don't want to get into it," Izzo said, before getting into it. "I won't get fined because I love the officials. I think they're awesome. "I don't think it's their fault. They're scared to death. I think there's a difference between freedom of movement ... and touching a guy 30 feet from the basket. If you're impeding the process, that's a foul. Oh my God, some of them on us and them ..."
Denzel Valentine vents a little anger in MSU victory Detroit News
There wasn't much for Denzel Valentine to get mad about during Michigan State's stay in sunny California. But he lost his cool a bit as the clock was winding down on Sunday's 77-64 victory over Providence.
No. 3 Michigan State wins Wooden Legacy behind supporting cast CBS Sports
Michigan State was supposed to be good following its Final Four run in 2015. But I'm not sure even the most ardent Spartan supporters could have expected this after losing Travis Trice and Branden Dawson.
The win was far from the best win of the season. Tom Izzo called it "ugly." The Spartans looked disjointed at times. But it marked a critical step for a team that has now proven it doesn't necessarily have to go as its star player goes.
Deyonta Davis got bullied in the first half against Providence Sunday night. What he did in the second half is a tantalizing thought for Michigan State's coaching staff. This should be a tantalizing thought for you, too. The freshman forward dropped in 12 points and vacuumed six rebounds in the Spartans' win over the Friars. Yet it was his feistiness on the defensive end that kept him on the court at the end of the game.
Draymond Green was saying the other day Denzel Valentine could actually pass Magic Johnson's MSU triple-double record. So, what say you, Magic? "Ummm, I believe he can, but triple-doubles are hard to get. It's not easy," Johnson said Sunday before MSU took on Providence in the Wooden Legacy championship game.