Maize & BlueReview – Michigan delivers the game, season, in style all too familiar to Nashville

Joanne Howard and the Michigan basketball team fell to the Vanderbilt Commodores, 66-65, at Memorial Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. Dug McDaniel hit an impressive first inning, and Hunter Dickinson took over in the second, but it wasn’t enough as Michigan gave the game away in the final minutes.

Here are three notes from the season-ending loss.

Joey Baker: Hot at home and cool on the road

The fifth-year graduate student scored Michigan’s career-high 21 points in the Wolverines’ 90-80 win over Toledo on Tuesday. Shooting 5-7 from behind the arc, the lights out helped Michigan get past the Rockets. It was a season high 3 made for a Duke transition.

Despite a red hot shooting performance earlier in the week, Baker struggled mightily in Michigan’s second round loss to Vanderbilt. The 6-foot-7 guard shot 3-10 from the ground and 0-3 from deep. Late in the second half, Baker made what appeared to be a 3-pointer, but it was changed to a 2-pointer during a media timeout.

Baker seemed to feel more comfortable in the confines of the Crisler position, but unfortunately for him and Michigan, he may have played his final game in Ann Arbor.

Hunter Dickinson dominates the second half

Vanderbilt had lost his starting big man to injury for the rest of the season just a few weeks earlier, and this was a game on the cards that Dickinson should dominate. However, the first half didn’t go at all that way for the 7-foot-1 big guy.

Fortunately for Michigan, Doug McDaniel picked up the slack in the first half, and even though UM trailed 17-5 early on, Michigan led 30-29 at halftime.

Dickinson stepped up his performance dramatically in the second half. The former second team All-American scored 15 points in the second half on 6-9 shooting, but it wasn’t enough as the Wolverines were plagued late on.

A familiar end to Michigan’s season

The biggest criticism surrounding the Michigan basketball team this season was that the Wolverines struggled to finish games. The inability to finish cost Michigan game after game throughout the regular season.

Postseason play hasn’t looked differently at Michigan. The Wolverines made just one field goal in 19 minutes of the second half game against Rutgers for the Big Ten Championship, and squandered an eight-point lead with less than a minute to play against Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon.

It’s the finish Michigan fans know best at this point in the season, and the loss completely sums up Michigan’s 2022-23 season as a whole.

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