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Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 2:57 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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Rutgers 84, Iowa St 81

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- In a battle of freshmen New York point guards, Quincy Douby prevailed for Rutgers over Curtis Stinson and Iowa State.

Douby poured in a season-high 35 points to lead the Scarlet Knights to an 84-81 overtime victory over the Cyclones in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament.

Rutgers (20-12) advanced to meet Michigan in Thursday's championship thanks to the slender 6-3 Douby. The Brooklyn native scored 19 points after halftime to offset a season-high 32-point explosion by Stinson, a Bronx native.

"He's a tough New York City kid and I knew it was going to be a battle," Douby said of Stinson. "He was giving us a lot of trouble."

Douby turned in perhaps the game's biggest play when he drove and drew Stinson's fifth foul with 2:53 left. His two foul shots gave Rutgers an 81-79 lead.

"One of the keys to the game was when Stinson fouled out," Rutgers coach Gary Waters said. "If he doesn't foul out, I don't know what would have happened."

Iowa State (20-13) forged the game's final tie at 81-81 on Jake Sullivan's two foul shots with 2:26 to go. Rutgers answered with a layup by senior forward Sean Axani with 68 seconds remaining for the game's final basket.

Douby left the door open by draining 1-of-2 at the line with 33 seconds left. But Sullivan, who nailed a tying 3-pointer with six seconds left in regulation, misfired on a pair of shots in the final 30 seconds.

The Scarlet Knights dominated in building a 40-30 halftime lead. Stinson led a charge by scoring 29 points after the break, turning the contest into a glorified one-on-one battle with Douby.

"I just tried to do what I could to help my team win," Stinson said. "I just tried to go to the basket and score."

While Rutgers was unable to stop Stinson on a series of pick-and-rolls, Iowa State could not contain Douby, who nailed six 3-pointers. Douby scored 10 of Rutgers' final 18 points over the last 2:34 of regulation and the extra session.

"I didn't expect myself to have this kind of game," said Douby who was rumored to have considered transferring after the season. "My first game in Madison Square Garden against Virginia Tech (in the Big East tournament), I played horrible. I didn't want that to happen again."

Rutgers also received a career-high 17 rebounds from Axani to win for the first time in four tries at Madison Square Garden under Waters.


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