During the first half of Saturday’s game Vanderbilt (22-14) led Michigan (18-16) by as much as 12 points.
Then the Wolverines fed the Commodores a 9-point deficit during the second half.
But it all came down to a single point at game end, when Commodore Tyrin Lawrence made a layup with only eleven seconds left on the clock. The Wolverines tried a timeout, a jumper by Dug McDaniel, and a two-point tip shot by Hunter Dickinson, but it just wasn’t enough. Vanderbilt eked out a win during the second round of the NIT.
Dickinson started slowly during the first half, scoring only six points total. He produced fifteen more after halftime, however, defaulting to that high-altitude jump hook that makes Michigan its bread and butter.
Dickinson and McDaniel scored 21 and 19 points total. Lawrence and Ezra Manjon scored 24 and 17 points respectively.
Lawrence and Colin Smith applied pressure to Michigan during the first half. A trio of three-pointers by Smith helped put the Wolverines into a 5-17 hole—it wasn’t until Terrance Williams II made a two-point tip shot that Michigan climbed back out.
Michigan, having weathered the storm, was ahead 30-29 at halftime.
The Wolverines pulled ahead following a dunk by Dickinson, 43-40, and it was the Commodores on the backfoot for thirteen long, long minutes.
Pressure returned and this time Michigan wasn’t ready, it seemed. Multiple turnovers by the boys in blue helped Vanderbilt close the gap as the Wolverines fumbled the ball three times in 49 seconds.
Michigan totaled 15 turnovers against 9 for Vanderbilt.
The Commodores took the lead with Lawrence’s last layup. The shot was blocked by Dickinson, but the Michigan center was called for goaltending when his hand touched the net.
Vanderbilt won, 66-65, and advances in the NIT. The Wolverines will return in the fall.
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Free Press