Originally created 03/31/04

Rutgers advances to NIT final



NEW YORK - 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 against the winner of Tuesday's second game between Michigan and Oregon.

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.

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

Stinson was the catalyst for the comeback, scoring 27 points in the second half and the first basket of the overtime. Douby converted a pair of free throws on Stinson's final foul for an 81-79 Rutgers lead.

Jake Sullivan, whose desperation 3-pointer tied the game with four seconds left in regulation, tied it again with a pair of free throws.

With just over a minute left, Sean Axani sent Rutgers in front again. Then Iowa State's Jackson Vroman was fouled but cramped up and was unable to take the shots.

Reserve John Neal, who had attempted just three free throws all season, came off the bench and missed both attempts. .

UTAH: Eastern Washington coach Ray Giacoletti was hired by Utah to replace the most successful basketball coach in school history.

Giacoletti replaces Rick Majerus, who took the Utes to 10 NCAA tournaments and the 1998 national title game but resigned in January because of poor health.

Nevada: Coach Trent Johnson agreed to a new five-year contract worth $450,000 a season, staying at the school he led to the NCAA tournament's final 16 for the first time.