Bryce Drew sticks up for Matthew Fisher-Davis after loss

But, alas, it wasn't to be.

After his team took a one-point lead with 20 seconds to go, Vanderbilt junior guard Matthew Fisher-Davis committed a mind-boggling foul against Northwestern, sending them to the free-throw line for two shots.

Fisher-Davis played a heck of a ballgame, and he helped Vanderbilt crawl out a 15-point, second-half hole.

Also the first time ever, probably, Northwestern basketball fans far outnumbered opposing fans at a neutral site - a neutral site far, far away from Evanston, for that matter. "He had some unbelievable shots in the second half to bring us back in the game". "Without him we're not even close to being in that situation at the end".

In a postgame interview with Jamie Erdahl, Drew stuck up for Fisher-Davis.

"I don't feel like it flipped quick", McIntosh said. "Very often you envision yourself hitting a game victor, and to do that at the free throw line was very relaxing". The obvious foul gave Northwestern the decisive free throws and go-ahead points to win.

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The Vanderbilt Commodores (19-15) are coming from a 76-62 loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks in which Riley LaChance scored 12 points in 2-for-7 shooting from the field and 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Duke appears to be one of the only schools, if not the only, which could tempt Collins into leaving Northwestern.

Northwestern needed its big three: Scottie Lindsey, Vic Law, and Bryant McIntosh to show up today in order to beat Vanderbilt.

But seconds after the in-bounds pass, Fisher-Davis reached out and grabbed McIntosh while he was in the backcourt.

However, Vanderbilt likely wouldn't have been in a position to make an error like that if it weren't for Fisher-Davis. And one play at the end or one or two plays at the end doesn't lose a game for us. "Still D.R.E." was not thematically appropriate-it's a song about a legend re-emerging to reclaim his throne, and Northwestern is the most non-legendary program in all of the major conferences, one that only just made its way out of infamy-but the Wildcats can be excused: This was a day where none of the program's old themes seemed to apply.

"The last timeout before a free throw, coach said, 'it's about toughness, '" Pardon said.

Fisher-Davis didn't seem to know what hit him.

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MCINTOSH MOMENT: McIntosh said he, like most players, has always dreamed about scoring the winning points in March Madness.

Now that Northwestern has finally arrived, Nustra, a two-time president of the basketball booster organization and undergraduate and dental student in the '60s, wasn't about to miss the opportunity.

Despite Fisher-Davis's mistake, the team stood behind him saying they wouldn't have even been in the game without him.

Northwestern basketball has a lot of things going for it. If they don't get cold from beyond the arc, the Commodores should be able to make some quick runs and get some big leads.

So everything that he did against Northwestern - good and bad - was foreshadowed to some degree over the previous 34 games. In fact, of the 16 games on Thursday, the higher seed won 14 times, and the favorite (based on the pre-game spread) also came out on top 14 times. They doubled the Zags' big men inside and managed to sink enough three-pointers to stay within striking distance.

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