- Associated Press - Saturday, March 12, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS — Denzel Valentine had 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds to lead No. 2 Michigan State past No. 18 Maryland, 64-61, in a Big Ten tournament semifinal.

The Big Ten player of the year made two free throws with 0.8 seconds to go, and Melo Trimble’s desperation heave from 55 feet away didn’t get past midcourt and was ruled to have been released after the buzzer anyway.

Michigan State (28-5) has won 12 of its last 13 games and will face No. 13 Purdue in Sunday’s title game.

Robert Carter Jr. had 18 points and eight rebounds to lead Maryland. Trimble finished with 11 points.

Despite making only two baskets over the final 10:26, the Terrapins still could have taken the lead after Valentine missed the front end of a one-and-one.

Trimble drove in for a layup, but the shot appeared to be deflected and Valentine grabbed the rebound and was immediately fouled.

It was a rugged game right from the start.

On the first basket, Maryland’s Jake Layman got hit in the face and no foul was called. A couple of possessions later, Layman and Eron Harris drew double technicals as Rasheed Sulaimon and Valentine barked at one another near midcourt. A few minutes later, Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon was given a bench warning.

Less than 12 minutes into the game, Trimble got hit in the face with the ball on a Michigan State pass, forcing him to briefly leave the game. Then, with 4:15 left in the first half, Turgeon was called for a technical.

None of it bothered the surging Spartans.

Michigan State scored six consecutive points to erase an early 10-9 deficit and spent the rest of the game fending off Maryland’s fierce charges.

The Terrapins couldn’t get within one possession until midway through the second half, couldn’t tie the score until Trimble made a 3-pointer with 10:25 left in the game and didn’t take the lead until Carter made two free throws with 6:55 left.

Matt Costello answered with a dunk on the next possession to give Michigan State a 58-57 lead and the Terrapins didn’t make another basket until Trimble’s layup with 14.7 seconds left made it 62-61.

Layman finished with nine points, moving into the top 20 on Maryland’s career scoring list.


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