Vanderbilt Set To Host Michigan In NIT After Beating Yale In Round One

Tyrin Lawrence with teammates. Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt played with a vengeance last night (March 14), defeating Yale 71-62 in the first round of the NIT at Memorial Gym. Vandy will be hosting Michigan for a second round matchup this Saturday, March 19.

The Commodores scored the first 11 points of the game in its 2023 postseason debut, and kept a steady 10-20 point lead for a majority of the game. Yale, a top program from the Ivy League, fought and was able to get back within five points with about seven minutes left, but nothing could get in the way of Vandy winning this game.

“I thought that was a really tough game. I love how our guys came out from the start,” said Head Coach Jerry Stackhouse in a postgame press conference. “We talked about urgency and I think they really came out and set the tone for the game. They’re a really tough team to play, they really execute, they have guys who can make shots all over the floor. We knew they were going to make a run, which they did, but I thought we sustained that run and found a way to make a run ourselves.”

Tyrin Lawrence scored a career-best 25 points and added seven rebounds for the Commodores (21-14), while Ezra Manjon chipped in with 18 points and Quentin Millora-Brown scored seven to go along with a season-high 13 rebounds.

The Commodores defense showed up big time even without SEC Defensive Player of the Year Liam Robbins, who is out for the season. Vandy limited Yale to 36.4 percent shooting from the field and made 20 of 27 attempts from the free-throw line.

“Our guys made big plays after big plays and we made our free throws down the stretch,” continued Stackhouse. “That’s a team that averages 76 points per game and for us to hold them to 62 points is a great feat for us and a testament to our defense, and we have to continue to play with that type of urgency and that type of effort on the defensive end to continue to advance.”

The Memorial madness will continue with Big Ten powerhouse Michigan on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased on Vanderbilt Athletics’ website.

Steven Boero