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Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Iowa State tumbles to Rutgers in OT

Michigan tops Oregon, reaches final

March 31, 2004

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— This was like old times for Quincy Douby and Curtis Stinson, two guards who had their share of showdowns on the concrete courts of New York City.

They staged one more Tuesday night on center stage at Madison Square Garden and when it was over, Douby had taken Rutgers into the championship game of the NIT with an 84-81 overtime victory against Iowa State.

The Scarlet Knights (20-12) will go for their first championship Thursday night.

There were moments in the game when it resembled a shootout between the two guards, who matched baskets throughout the second half. Both finished with career highs, Douby scoring 35 and Stinson 32.

"I prepared real well for the game," Douby said. "I played against Stinson in prep school. He's from New York City and he's tough. He doesn't give up."

Douby opened fast, hitting four three-pointers in the first half. Stinson managed just three points and three shots in the first 20 minutes.

"When we were warming up, I felt good," Douby said. "I hit my first few threes and I was in the flow."

That added up to a 40-30 halftime lead for Rutgers, but Stinson brought Iowa State back in the second half.

"We didn't give up our lead," coach Gary Waters said. "They took it from us."

Stinson was the catalyst for the comeback, scoring 27 points in the second half and the first basket of the overtime. But then he fouled out with just under three minutes left in the extra period and the score tied at 79.

Michigan 78, Oregon 53

New York -- Michigan coach Tommy Amaker was worried about Oregon's offense. The Ducks should have concerned themselves with the Wolverines' attack.

Michigan (22-11) came out hitting on all cylinders Tuesday night and routed Oregon in the NIT semifinals. The Wolverines will play Rutgers for the championship Thursday night.

Led by Luke Jackson, the second-leading scorer in the Pac-10 this season, Oregon posed a defensive challenge for Michigan. The Ducks (18-13) averaged 75.7 points per game, third best in the Pac-10. But Amaker's team took over early, hitting 59 percent of its shots in the first half to build a 14-point lead. Michigan hit 54 percent for the game.

The Wolverines got consecutive three-pointers from Chris Hunter, Daniel Horton and Lester Abram in an 11-0 run that put them in front to stay. Michigan converted eight of 12 three-point attempts in the first half.

By midway through the second half, the Michigan lead had stretched past 20 points.

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