Michigan State guard Lourawls Nairn Jr. (11) drives past Rider forward Kahlil Thomas (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)
Reinhold Matay
November 27, 2014

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Michigan State coach Tom Izzo wanted to get Denzel Valentine more involved in the offense and the plan worked.

Valentine had a career-high 19 points, Bryn Forbes added 15 points, and No. 20 Michigan State rolled past Rider 77-45 Thursday night in the first round of the Orlando Classic.

Valentine hit two long-range jumpers and Forbes added a third that extended the Spartans' advantage to 43-15 early in the second half. Another 3-pointer by Valentine, who had just two points during the first half, made it 76-41 with 4 minutes left.

''We did make a concerted effort second half ... we said we're going to go to you and be ready,'' Izzo said. ''Give him credit, he did.''

Travis Trice had eight of his 10 points in the first half to help Michigan State go up 32-11 at halftime.

Michigan State (4-1) also got 10 points from Gavin Schilling.

Matt Lopez scored 12 of his career-best 14 points in the second half for Rider (2-3), which made just 16 shots in 62 attempts (25.8 percent) from the field.

''It was a long night for us, but again we have to have a short memory especially when you play in a tournament,'' Rider coach Kevin Baggett said.

Trice and Marvin Clark Jr. both hit 3-pointers as Michigan State scored the first eight points of the game. Branden Dawson, who missed one game due to illness and came off the bench 3 minutes into the game, closed out the first half scoring with a 3-point play during the final minute.

Dawson scored three points and had six rebounds.

Just 12 minutes into the game Rider trailed 16-7 despite making just 2 of its first 20 shots. Rider finished the half shooting just 13.8 percent (4 for 29).

''We were making that very important,'' Valentine said of the Spartans' defense.

Michigan State made five 3-pointers in 10 attempts in the first half.

TIP-INS

Michigan State: The Spartans have beaten Rider, Santa Clara and Loyola of Chicago since losing to then-No. 4 Duke on Nov. 18. ... The Spartans outrebounded Rider 27-15 during the first half.

Rider: The Broncs were coming off an 80-67 loss to No. 11 Kansas Monday. ... This was the first meeting between Rider and Michigan State.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Izzo said freshman Javon Bess (broken bone in his right foot) is close to returning. ... Forbes is playing with a broken bone in his non-shooting (left) hand.

SHOOTING SLUMP

Rider guards Teddy Okereafor (1 for 11, four points) and Jimmie Taylor (1 for 12, three points) were a combined 2 for 23 from the field and had seven points.

UP NEXT

Michigan State will play either Georgia Tech or Marquette in a Friday night semifinal.

Rider will play Friday in the consolation round.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

''Both really good teams ... I'm glad I don't have to play them again. Both really well coached. Talented. Those guys play hard. We can take some lessons for some of the things that we've learned going against these two teams. I certainly know why they are ranked in the Top-25 in the country,''

Baggett said about playing Kansas and Michigan State this week.

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