NEW YORK — Michigan knew heading into last night’s
NIT final that the key to beating Rutgers would be slowing down
red-hot guard Quincy Douby. But nobody figured Michigan would
nearly stop him altogether.

Douby, a freshman from Brooklyn, had been on a tear since
entering Rutgers’s starting lineup at the start of the NIT.
Douby scored 96 points since the start of the tournament, including
35 in the Scarlet Knights’ win over Iowa State in the
semifinals.

But Michigan held Douby to just two points for the game on
1-for-13 shooting behind a solid effort by Bernard Robinson and
great help defense in a number of situations.

“A couple of times I had a pretty good look at the basket,
and kind of rushed it,” Douby said. “But I’ve got
to give them credit. They did a really good job. They contested all
my shots.”

The Wolverines couldn’t have done better against Douby in
the first half. Guarded primarily by Robinson, the Rutgers freshman
was shut down completely — missing all eight of his shots in
the first frame.

Even when Robinson wasn’t guarding Douby, the Wolverines
prevented the freshman from getting any good looks at the basket by
switching off on screens.

“We had a good defensive team effort,” Michigan
coach Tommy Amaker said. “You can’t have one player
think that they’re gonna stop one other guy. It takes a group
of guys and a team effort, and certainly our players did
that.”

Douby missed his first field-goal attempt in the second half
before connecting on a baseline leaner with 16:22 to play in the
game, bringing Rutgers within 10 at 41-31.

The Douby field goal — his only one of the game —
was the start of a 13-2 Rutgers run over the next six minutes,
which pulled the Scarlet Knights within three.

But a solid defensive effort by Robinson and the Wolverines kept
Douby quiet for the rest of the contest, as he was unable to get
free for any more good looks at the basket.

“I think us as a team did a great job on him,”
Robinson said. “When he got past me, there was always a guy
there to help him in rotation. I think that a key part of us
winning the ballgame today was slowing him down.”

Get that outta here: Rutgers senior Herve Lamizana — the
team’s second-leading scorer –— gave Michigan
fits on both ends of the floor, finishing the game with a
jam-packed box score. The senior made the most of his last game for
Rutgers, finishing with 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight
blocks.

“I thought he was absolutely terrific tonight,”
Amaker said.

Lamizana was all over the place in the first half, scoring 11
points and adding five rebounds and five blocks. The senior kept
Michigan from several layups with his stuffs, which included a huge
rejection on a dunk attempt from Michigan high-flyer Brent
Petway.

Lamizana continued his rim-guarding in the second half, sending
back three more Michigan shots. On several series under the
Michigan basket, Lamizana recorded multiple blocks to keep Michigan
away from the rim.

“He’s a great player, and he played well
today,” Michigan sophomore Graham Brown said. “He
altered a lot of shots, but we did a good job finishing when we
needed to.”

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