Juwan Howard and the Michigan basketball team lost 66-65 to the Vanderbilt Commodores at Memorial Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. Doug McDaniel’s first half was impressive, and Hunter Dickinson took the lead in the second half, but it was not enough as Michigan put the game away in the final minutes.
Here are three takeaways from the season-ending loss.
Joy Baker: Warm in the house, cold on the road
The fifth-year graduate student posted a Michigan career-high 21 points in the Wolverines’ 90-80 home win over Toledo on Tuesday. He made 5-7 shots from beyond the arc, and his lights-out shooting helped Michigan pull ahead of the Rockets. It was a season-high in 3-pointers made for the Duke transfer.
Despite a stellar shooting performance early in the week, Baker struggled mightily in Michigan’s second round loss at the hands of Vanderbilt. The 6-foot-7 guard shot 3-10 from the floor and 0-3 from deep. Late in the second half, Baker made what looked to be a 3-pointer, but it was converted into a 2-pointer during a media timeout.
Baker seems more comfortable in the confines of Crisler Center, but unfortunately for him and for Michigan, he may have played his last game in Ann Arbor.
Hunter Dickinson dominated the second half
Vanderbilt had already lost its starting Big Man to injury for the rest of the season a few weeks earlier, and on paper this was a game that Dickinson should dominate. However, the first half didn’t exactly go well for the 7-foot-1 big man.
Fortunately for Michigan, Doug McDaniel picked up the slack in the first half, and although UM fell behind 17–5 early, Michigan led 30–29 at halftime.
In the second half, Dickinson stepped up his performance in a tremendous way. The former second-team All-American scored 15 second-half points on 6-9 shooting, but it was not enough as turnovers plagued the Wolverines late.
A familiar ending ends Michigan’s season
One of the biggest criticisms regarding the Michigan basketball team this season has been that the Wolverines struggle to finish games. The inability to finish game after game cost Michigan throughout the regular season.
However, postseason play did not differ for Michigan. The Wolverines made just one field goal in 19 minutes of second-half action against Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament, and they took an eight-point lead with less than a minute to play against Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon.
Michigan fans are all too familiar at this point in the season, and this loss completely ends Michigan’s 2022-23 season overall.
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