MSU’s Alvin Ellis III, Bryn Forbes, Gavin Schilling, Matt Costello and Denzel Valentine leave the court in dejection after losing to Duke 81-61 in the Final Four in Indianapolis Friday 4/3/2015.
INDIANAPOLIS – His eyes were red after an emotional farewell to his Michigan State teammates, but Travis Trice was clinical in breaking down the last game of his career in front of a giant room of reporters.
Duke was “denying us on the wings,” Trice said after Saturday’s 81-61 Final Four loss to the Blue Devils, and MSU was “starting our offense out to far,” which got the Spartans out of character.
“I don’t think we had our best game all around,” he said, and with that he was back to the locker room to take off his MSU jersey for the last time.
A few minutes later, though, his coach put it all in perspective – a postseason run for Trice that was among the best Izzo has seen in his 20 years as MSU’s head coach.
“There’s no question Branden (Dawson) played well and Denzel (Valentine) played well,” Izzo said of his other two stars. “But it was Travis Trice who led us to a Final Four.”
Trice scored 16 points in his final game – taking a shot to the groin in the process, requiring a quick trip to the locker room – and that followed up tournament games of 15, 23, 24 and 17 points for the 6-foot senior.
That’s an average of 19.0 points in five tourney games, a statement finish to what was already a breakthrough senior season. Trice buried Virginia with an early outburst, then took out Oklahoma in the Sweet 16 and Louisville in the Elite Eight with clutch shots and free throws.
And though his last game was a rough one for all in the MSU locker room, his career ended in a city where his father starred more than 20 years ago for Butler. Trice ended up with 1,135 points at MSU, No. 39 in school history.