John Jenkins tied Vanderbilt’s record for 3-pointers made in a season but missed one when it counted most. As a result, he missed out on an opportunity to add to his total.
The Commodores’ season ended with a 60-57 defeat against Wisconsin on Saturday at Albuquerque, N.M.
Vanderbilt (25-11), the fifth seed in the East Region, led 57-56 after a Festus Ezeli layup with 2:22 to play but failed to score the rest of the way.
Jenkins missed a go-ahead 3-pointer with four seconds remaining. The Southeastern Conference’s leading scorer made just two of nine 3-pointers in the contest, in which the teams combined for 52 3-point attempts.
"He was wide open," coach Kevin Stallings said of Jenkins' last shot. "... It might have been the best look he had the whole game. So we ran the play, ran it to perfection. Got it right where we wanted him, and he's made so many that have caused us to win games, and unfortunately, that one just didn't go in."
Jenkins still matched Shan Foster, who made134 in 2007-08. Jenkins, however, became the only player in program history to make 100 or more in two seasons. He had exactly 100 as a sophomore.
As a team, the Commodores were 5-for-19 from beyond the arc. Brad Tinsley made one as time expired in the first half and got the Commodores within one, 32-31, and made two of four in the contest.
"Well, people who are going to shoot have off days, and it was one of mine [Saturday], unfortunately," Jenkins said. "I wanted to keep playing. I didn't want to give up on it."
Wisconsin (26-9), the fourth seed, made 10 3-pointers (on 33 attempts). The last, by Jordan Taylor, came on the possession following Ezeli’s layup and put the Badgers in front for good.
"If you look at them, statistically, they're very good at defending the 3," Stallings said. "We knew that going in. You try to get good looks against them, we got some, some we didn't. We took some contested ones."
Steve Tchiengang started in place of Ezeli, who finished with team-highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds in 26 minutes. Stallings said the decision to sit Ezeli at the start was for disciplinary reasons.
Jenkins added 13 points and Tinsley scored 10.
Wisconsin scored the first five points and led for the entire fast half. Its advantage was as large as eight points four times, the last at 22-14 after Ryan Evans’ layup with 7:40 remaining.
Taylor led five Badgers in double figures with 14 points. Jared Berggren added 12, and Evans and Ben Brust each had 11.
All of Brust’s points came in a 7:46 span of the second half when no other Wisconsin player scored. During that stretch he pushed the lead to a game-high nine points, 53-44.
"This wasn't the outcome that we were looking for," Vanderbilt forward Jeffery Taylor said. "We wanted to come down here and win two games. Unfortunately, they just made a couple more plays than we did down that stretch of the game."