Final Horn: Michigan 78, Texas 72

Dylan Burkhardt

There were no tired legs on Friday night in the Bahamas and Michigan and Texas went back-and-forth in an offensive shootout in the Battle 4 Atlantis fifth place game. The Wolverines led throughout, but Texas cut the defecit to 1 point with 4:26 to play in the second half before Michigan answered and held on for a 78-72 win.

It was over when

Michigan answered Texas’ late run with a 7-0 run of its own. A pair of big time drives by Caris LeVert helped extend Michigan’s lead to five points before Derrick Walton drew a charge with 3:19 to play and Zak Irvin buried a three on the ensuing possession to stretch the lead to 8 with 2:55 to play.

Player of the Game: Derrick Walton

Walton shot the ball well and sliced the Texas defense apart with his vision and ability to get in the lane. He finished 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds in an impressive all around performance.

Stat of the Game: Three-point shooting

Michigan made 11 triples in the first half after hitting 10 in the second half against Charlotte. The Wolverines finished the game with 14 made three-pointers on 25 attempts, two short of a school record. After watching the Wolverines brick shot after shot against UConn, the confidence that the Michigan offense picked up the last two days on Paradise Island could be critical heading into Raleigh on Tuesday evening. Duncan Robinson (4-of-5), Derrick Walton (3-of-5) and Caris LeVert (3-of-5) led the charge from long distance but five different Wolverines hit at least one triple.

Room for Improvement: Defense

Texas scored 1.14 points per possession and the only reason that the Wolverines were able to win this game was because of their prolific offense. The Longhorns, generally a well below-average shooting team, shot the ball well inside and out and dominated the offensive glass, grabbing 29 percent of their missed shots.  The Texas offensive performance should have been even better, but the Longhorns were just 8 of 19 at the free throw line on the game.

  • bobohle

    Even Donnal played a decent game tonight. On to NC State. I am really excited about the development of Wagner and Robinson.

  • Chezaroo

    Hard for me not to root for Donnal, great kid.

  • JJ3ball

    Yep. Donnal was good down the stretch

  • Mattski

    We were only 6-12 from the charity stripe ourselves.

    • rlcBlue

      If you’d predicted that when it came time to ice the game from the free throw line Robinson would miss the front end of a one and one and Walton would go 2-4, I would have laughed at you. Glad we didn’t lose because of it…

      • Tuff Enough

        i agree and thats why spike has to be in there at the end of the game, Spike is a pretty good at the line and I hope he gets well from surgery.

        • rlcBlue

          I like Spike, and the team will definitely be better when he’s back at full health, but Walton was absolutely who I wanted out there last night. He got in position on Taylor’s drives consistently enough that the refs finally understood what an offensive foul looks like.