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No. 2 Vanderbilt benefits from late surge to jolt No. 3 Michigan

Mar 1, 2023; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores head coach Jerry Stackhouse looks on during the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrin Lawrence scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half and led second-seeded Vanderbilt on a game-ending 9-0 run to stun third-seeded Michigan 66-65 in the second round of the NIT Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.

With 12 seconds left, Lawrence earned the game-winning points for the hosts on a goaltending call on Michigan center Hunter Dickinson. Dickinson blocked Lawrence’s shot high off the glass but illegally grasped the net to support himself.

Vanderbilt (22-14) will host either fourth-seeded UAB or Morehead State, who play Sunday, in the NIT quarterfinals.

One game after setting a career high of 25 points against Yale, Lawrence was the hero for the Commodores again, adding nine rebounds to his ledger. Ezra Manjon scored 17 points and Colin Smith added 11, all in the first half.

Dickinson led Michigan (18-16) with 21 points and 11 rebounds, Dug McDaniel had 19 points and Joey Baker scored 11.

Lawrence twice cut Vanderbilt’s deficit to five, including at 5:09 with a layup and foul shot. Baker made an open shot in transition that was originally scored as a 3-pointer, however it was changed retroactively to a 2 because his foot was on the line.

Trey Thomas’ 3-pointer trimmed the Commodores’ deficit to 61-57 with less than four minutes left, but McDaniel and Baker got baskets sandwiched around a Vanderbilt offensive foul to make it an eight-point game with 1:45 remaining.

Lawrence converted another three-point play and nine seconds later Manjon got a steal and was sent to the line, where he cut it to 65-62.

McDaniel got through Vandy’s press and past the half-court line but then threw a lob pass out of bounds. Manjon was able to drive for a layup to cut it to 65-64.

Michigan again was stymied by Vanderbilt’s press, as the ensuing inbounds pass went off the hands of Terrance Williams II. Lawrence wound up with the ball and tried a layup, which the 7-foot-2 Dickinson blocked cleanly before getting whistled for grabbing the net.

Michigan played without two starting guards and potential first-round NBA draft picks. Jett Howard missed his second straight game and Kobe Bufkin also sat out, both nursing ankle injuries.

Vanderbilt rattled off a 17-0 run early in the game, featuring three open looks from the arc for Smith. Williams and McDaniel responded for the Wolverines by accounting for all 15 points of a 15-3 stretch. McDaniel’s consecutive 3-pointers 43 seconds apart tied the game 20-20 with 9:21 left in the half.

Michigan regained the lead at 6:58 on Williams’ two free throws. The lead changed hands four more times before halftime, with Dickinson’s bucket making it 30-29 Michigan at the break.

The Commodores struggled to stop Dickinson, who made his first six shot attempts of the second half to help Michigan lead by as many as 10.

–Field Level Media

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