PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — It started with an Aubrey Dawkins 3 just 47 seconds into the game, and ended as Caris LeVert knocked home a pull-up long-range jumper seconds before the buzzer sounded.
Eleven first-half 3-pointers that Texas gave up. A team that has been hot-and-cold on defense all week long could not stop the machine that was Michigan’s shooting.
On Friday, Texas couldn’t get that stop. And when it had the chance to cut into the lead at the line, it couldn’t do that either, making just four of its first 12 from the stripe. It all equated to a 78-72 Texas loss if the fifth-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis run boosted by three 3-pointers of its own for Texas was made moot when Derrick Walton Jr. hit another from the top of the key. Then another run was cut short by timely Michigan shooting.
Smart employed a stingy press defense, which helped cut the Michigan lead all the way down to one. But the Longhorns were never able to take the lead.
Texas finishes the tournament 1-2, with a win over Washington and losses to Texas A&M and the Wolverines. It next hosts UT-Arlington on Tuesday.
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