NJIT, the lone independent Division I basketball program, stunned Michigan, 72-70, at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Saturday.
The Wolverines entered the game ranked 20th in Ken Pomeroy's team efficiency ratings, while N.J.I.T was ranked 293rd. In addition, Michigan had won six of its first seven games of the season, including a three-point win over Syracuse on Tuesday in the Big Ten/ACC challenge, and was picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten in a preseason poll.
The Highlanders, meanwhile, had lost five of their first seven games. Their most recent defeat came by four points at UMass Lowell on Wednesday.
In Saturday's upset, Sophomore guard Damon Lynn led N.J.I.T. with 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting, while junior guards Ky Howard and Winfield Willis added 17 apiece. Guards Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr. scored a combined 48 points for Michigan — including a career-high 32 for LeVert — but the Wolverines' three other starters (Mark Donnal, Kameron Chatman and Zak Irvin) totaled only 13 points.
N.J.I.T. shot 58.7 percent from the field and connected on 11 of their 17 three-point attempts, including one from Lynn with under three minutes remaining that gave the Highlanders a four-point lead. LeVert made a three-pointer to cut the lead to one, but N.J.I.T. was able to hold on for the win after forward Daquan Holiday knocked down a pair of free throws.
Here are some of N.J.I.T. coach Jim Engles' post-game comments:
Engles 'I sort of penciled this one down as an L ... I don't know what to tell you.'— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) December 6, 2014
John Engles jokes: 'I want to get in the Big Ten now. How about opening up a spot for us?'— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) December 6, 2014