BROOKLYN — Though it certainly lasted a long time, Michigan’s late-game magic ran out Friday night. Playing with its season on the line for the fourth time in just over a week, the Wolverines (23-13) fell short against Notre Dame.
Michigan began its fifth postseason game in nine days with one of its best halves of the season. The Wolverines gained 14 points off turnovers, clicked in all areas of the game and knocked down seven 3-pointers to cruise out to a 41-29 lead.
But the Fighting Irish didn’t take long to bounce back, beginning the half on a 12-2 to virtually erase any momentum Michigan had built up.
From there, the game was a back-and-forth battle between two high-performing teams. For the fourth time in five games, the Wolverines entered the final minute with the game wide open. But against Notre Dame, Michigan finally saw its season end.
With the Wolverines done for the season, here’s our immediate reaction to Friday’s loss.
MVP: Derrick Walton gave Michigan everything he had left in the tank, finishing with 10 points, 8 assists, 6 steals and four rebounds. His legs left him in the second half as he couldn’t get a shot to fall, but he carried the Wolverines in the first.
It was over when… Zak Irvin fired and missed a straight away three that rolled in and out. Irvin had shot Michigan’s way out of plenty of jams this season, but just couldn’t find the answer on a possession that seemed out of wack from the opening jump.
Key Stat: After outscoring Tulsa, 20-6 off of turnovers Wednesday night, the Wolverines were at it again Friday. Michigan built a 14-2 edge off of turnovers in the first half, and though the Wolverines struggled in a lot of areas in the second half, their edge off of turnovers remained secure. Michigan outscored the Fighting Irish, 19-3 off turnovers to gain a huge edge yet again.
Room for improvement: Second half
Michigan just ran out of steam and let the game slip away in the second half. The Wolverines were just 9-of-32 from the floor in the final 20 minutes while Notre Dame went 12-of-21 for a 71.4 eFG%.