CHICAGO -- First, Denzel Valentine made history. Then, he led his team to a critical comeback win over a top-five team.
Valentine became just the fourth player in Michigan State history to record a triple-double, keying the No. 13 Spartans' 79-73 victory over No. 4 Kansas on Tuesday night at United Center.
Valentine finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, joining Magic Johnson, Draymond Green and Charlie Bell as the only Michigan State players to record a triple-double. Johnson had in his two seasons, Green had three and Bell had one. Valentine's effort Tuesday was the 13th in school history.
Valentine recorded his 10th rebound with about 7 minutes left. With just under 5 minutes left, Valentine sunk a 3-pointer to put the Spartans ahead 65-64. Kansas had led by as many as 13 points earlier in the game.
That was the first of five lead changes in the final five minutes. Three times in that stretch, Valentine hit a shot to give his team the lead once again.
But it was a Michigan State freshman, Matt McQuaid, who provided the dagger -- a 3-pointer from the corner with 45 seconds remaining to give the Spartans a 75-71 edge.
The Spartans were able to ice the game in the final minute and take home a critical November win that often has eluded them in recent years.
In the second game of his senior season, Valentine provided his most dominant offensive performance in a Michigan State uniform. He either scored or assisted on 22 of his team's 28 field goals and set a career high for points.
After Kansas went on an 11-point run early in the game and at times seemed poised to run away Valentine overcame an 0-for-4 start and finished the first half with eight points.
He went the first five points of the second half to set the tone for a frame in which he would help his team overcome a double-digit deficit, eight first-half turnovers and 10 first-half fouls.
Bryn Forbes added 13 points, while Matt Costello had 10.
The Spartans (2-0) host Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Friday.
• Against much stiffer competition than the Spartans' two exhibitions and regular-season opener provided, Costello continued his strong offensive start to the season. He hit 4 of 8 shots in a variety of ways to give the Spartans a much-needed frontcourt presence.
• McQuaid came off the bench in the second half to hit a pair of critical shots. On top of his final-minute 3-pointer, he also hit a long ball with 3:51 left to give the Spartans a two-point lead.
• The Spartans battled a larger and deeper Kansas front line to win the rebound battle decisively, 44-35. Michigan State also held the advantage in second-chance points and points in the paint.
• Michigan State knew Kansas senior Perry Ellis would present a matchup problem, and he was just that. His 21 points were second only to Valentine, and he recorded multiple buckets early over an undersized Javon Bess. He also helped get Costello in foul trouble
• One of Michigan State's most veteran players committed its worst mental mistake of the season. After being called for a foul late in the first half, Costello punched the ball in frustration and was immediately assessed a technical foul. The foul was his third, and Kansas made three of four free throws.
• Guard Eron Harris continues to struggle to find his way into Michigan State's offense. He had just two points and committed three fouls.
• Michigan State improved to 3-2 in Champions Classic games.
• The script "S" from Harris' jersey was ripped off at one point in the first half. The front of his jersey simply read "tate".