Boothe sinks two free throws to give St. John’s road victoryNovember 18, 2009
St. John’s Junior point guard Malik Boothe made two free throws with 6.2 seconds left to give St. John’s a 69-68 victory on the road against St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies (1-1) inbounded and got the ball to Michael Davenport, who missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer. It was a big victory for the Red Storm who probably would have lost this type of game a year ago.
St. John’s (2-0) was led by D.J. Kennedy once again, who had 18 points. Last year’s leading scorer, Paris Horne, chipped in with 15.
But it was Boothe, the much maligned point guard, who showed toughness and nerves of steel, that was the star. Despite another shaky game defensively and only scoring 4 points, Boothe had the contest at his finger tips, and calmly hit two free throws to give the Johnnies a big road victory over an A-10 opponent.
“I just didn’t want to hit just one,” Boothe said after the game. “Free throws have been tough for me in the past, but I tried to block all that out and I hit both. It’s a big win for us.”
The Bonnies were led by Andrew Nicholson, who was 11-for-15 from the floor, and led all scorers with 26 points. Two of his points came on free throws that put St. Bonaventure up 1 with 11.1 seconds remaining.
After Nicholson’s free throws, St. John’s inbounded the ball to Boothe, who drove the length of the floor and was fouled by Chris Matthews in the lane.
St. Bonaventure fought back from a seven-point deficit in the final 3 minutes, but came up short when Davenport’s 30-foot shot bounced off the back of the rim.
St. John’s continued its hot shooting from behind the arc, hitting 8 of 17 3-point attempts. Junior-College transfers Dwight Hardy and Justin Brownlee were impressive once again, scoring 7 points each in limited minutes.
I know some St. John’s fans will still complain about only beating St. Bonaventure by 1 point. However, please realize that St. Bonaventure is an improved team from last season and no cupcake. A 1 point win on the road is much better than a 1 point loss.
“The last few years we’ve been through some tough games, lost some down the stretch,” said D.J. Kennedy, “That built us to where down the stretch we’re focused and find a way to get through.”
St. John’s resumes play Friday to kick off the Philly Hoop Classic against Brown at Carnesecca Arena.