Quincy Douby was wide open. He took a three-point shot from the right baseline: good. Quincy Douby came back down the court 25 seconds later. He took a three-point shot from the left baseline: good.
It was the story of the night as the St. John’s men’s basketball team fell 82-70 to Rutgers (17-12, 7-9 Big East) in its season finale at Carnesecca Arena. St. John’s ends its 2005-2006 run with a 12-15, 5-11 record.
“[Douby] makes unbelievable shots,” said coach Norm Roberts. “We tried to guard him [but] he makes you pay if you make one mistake.”
The Johnnies must have made their share of mistakes as Douby scored a game-high 36 points against them.
The game had high stakes for St. John’s: win and go to the Big East Tournament or lose and wait until next season. The team came out expectedly energized as Lamont Hamilton opened up the scoring with a huge dunk.
They kept it close through the first half. Rutgers went on some scoring runs but St. John’s was able to keep pace with the help of Eugene Lawrence’s 10 first-half points (22 overall).
The quarter ended with Hamilton knocking down two free-throws and St. John’s trailing by only three at 32-29.
The second half started off much like the first half. In fact, the Johnnies caught up at 47 with 12:11 left. But, it wasn’t long before Douby took the game over.
“We stuck with them for a while but Quincy [Douby] just kept making shots,” said senior Phil Missere.
Added Lawrence: “We knew he was gonna score, we just wanted to try to make it difficult for him.”
Douby’s three-pointer at 11:55 sparked a 15-4 Rutgers run that broke the tie quite dramatically.
For the remainder of the game, St. John’s couldn’t climb much further back then 10 points, despite best efforts by Lawrence, Lamont Hamilton (14 points, 8 rebounds) and Anthony Mason Jr. (12 points, 6 rebounds.)
Rutgers was provided with a boost from the bench as Jimmie Inglis and Frank Russell combined for 19 points and 9 rebounds.
“We didn’t want somebody to hurt us that doesn’t normally give them big minutes [but] Frank Russell – give him credit. He barely plays and he did a great job,” said coach Roberts.
The loss is the last of St. John’s season as they miss out on the Big East Tournament for a third straight time.
“It does hurt but what that means is that we’re playing games that mean something,” said coach Roberts.
He added: “My guys tried hard. Nobody slacked. They wanted so bad to win today.
“We’re going through tough times but we’ll get better. I’m excited about next year. I’m excited for them.