Derrick Walton Jr.
Jan. 9, 2014
Site: Lincoln, Neb. (Pinnacle Bank Arena)
Score: Michigan 71, Nebraska 70
Records: U-M (11-4, 3-0 Big Ten), Nebraska (8-7, 0-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, Jan. 14 -- vs. Penn State (Crisler Center), 8 p.m. (TV: BTN)
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Freshman Derrick Walton Jr. (Harper Woods, Mich./Chandler Park Academy) hit a half-court buzzer-beater, but it only proved to be his second-biggest shot of the night, as his layup with 21.8 seconds left gave the University of Michigan men's basketball team a 71-70 victory over Nebraska on Thursday night (Jan. 9) at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
In a second half that featured eight lead changes, the last turned out to be the only one that mattered. With the game tied at 67, sophomore Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) went coast to coast for a dunk that put Michigan up two points with 1:36 left in the game. On the next play, Nebraska's Terran Petteway made a second-chance layup to tie the game back up at 69. The Huskers forced a Michigan turnover, and Petteway was fouled and sent to the line for a one-and-one. He made the first free throw and missed the second (Nebraska's only missed free throw of the game), giving the Wolverines the ball down 70-69 with 33 seconds left in the game.
Walton got the ball and drove to the basket, hitting the layup with 21.8 seconds remaining while also getting fouled on the play. He missed his free throw, giving Nebraska one last chance to win the game. The Huskers called timeout with 9.3 ticks left, and after Petteway missed his shot in the paint, Leslee Smith got the offensive rebound but failed on his tip-in attempt, and the buzzer sounded.
Walton finished the game with 10 points and four assists, one of five Wolverines to score in double digits on the night. Robinson led the way with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting, and graduate student Jordan Morgan (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit) scored a season-high 15 points while going 7-of-9 from the field. Sophomore Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Mark's School [Mass.]) added 12 points, and his classmate Caris LeVert (Pickerington, Ohio/Central) scored 10 of his own while also adding a team-high five assists.
Both teams were neck and neck in the first half, and after Deverell Biggs hit a layup to tie the game at 30 with less than five seconds left before halftime, Walton connected on a half-court shot at the buzzer to give the Maize and Blue a 33-30 advantage at the intermission.
Following a corner three by Walton that gave Michigan a 40-34 lead early in the second half, Nebraska came right back and took the lead on a 13-4 run to go ahead, 47-44, causing the crowd to go into a frenzy and forcing Michigan to use a timeout. On the very next play, Robinson threw down a thunderous dunk off an alley-oop pass from Stauskas that silenced the Nebraska fans.
Minutes later, Morgan made two straight layups off feeds from Stauskas, giving U-M the lead at 52-51 with 9:23 left in the game. Robinson then made a reverse layup, but Biggs tied the game at 54 on an old-fashioned three-point play. On the next possession, Stauskas hit a long jumper to break the tie, before a steal by Robinson led to a Stauskas triple, putting the Wolverines ahead 59-54 with 6:55 remaining in the contest.
Nebraska did not go away and tied the game at 63 on a three, pressuring Michigan to call a timeout with 4:32 left.
Michigan went 31-of-50 (62 percent) from the floor, including 6-of-17 (35 percent) on three-pointers, and was also 3-of-9 from the free throw line; while Nebraska went 11-of-12 from the charity stripe. The Huskers shot 26-of-49 (53 percent) on the night and went 7-of-20 (35 percent) from beyond the arc. Petteway led the Cornhuskers with 16 points, while Biggs and Gallegos each added 14.
The Maize and Blue returns home to Ann Arbor next Tuesday (Jan. 14) to take on Penn State. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m., and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423