March 5, 2010
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) - D.J. Kennedy helped St. John's overcome a 20-point first-half deficit with a career-high 32 points and Malik Boothe scored six points in the third overtime as the Red Storm defeated DePaul, 90-82, in triple overtime Friday night.
Anthony Mason Jr. made a 3-pointer to start the third overtime and Boothe later hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the Red Storm an 83-80 lead. St. John's (16-14, 6-12 BIG EAST) finally pulled away when Kennedy connected with Mason for an alley-oop dunk and an 87-82 lead with 37.2 seconds left.
Paris Horne finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Mason added 14 points and nine boards for St. John's in its regular-season finale. Justin Burrell picked up his ninth-career double-double, adding 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Kennedy, who was 7-for-9 from long range, also had nine rebounds and a team-high seven assists. The seven 3-pointers marked a career-best for Kennedy and also tied him for the second most in a single game in STJ history. His 32-point effort marked were the most for a STJ player since Lamont Hamilton scored 36 vs. Columbia on Dec. 23, 2006.
St. John's had not played a three-overtime game since a 61-59 win against Manhattan on Feb. 28, 1957 at Madison Square Garden, under Hall of Fame coach Joe Lapchick.
"My guys played with an unbelievable sense of pride in the second half. I was really proud of what they accomplished out there," said St. John's head coach Norm Roberts. "We played a tougher schedule this year than we did last year and we had some close ones where we came up short, but there's no doubt in my mind that this team is better than the team we had last year."
Mac Koshwal scored 23 points and Mike Stovall 19 for DePaul (8-22, 1-16), which has only won one BIG EAST regular-season game in two seasons. DePaul's lone win came Jan. 20 against Marquette.
DePaul trailed 75-70 with 4:24 left in the second overtime but came back. Will Walker made a 3-pointer, and Kennedy answered with a basket, but Koshwal scored for DePaul. Then with 53.8 seconds left, Jeremiah Kelly drove past the St. John's defense for a layup to tie the game. Kelly had a chance to win the game but missed a 3-pointer as time expired.
Mario Stula made a 3-pointer for the Blue Demons with 11 seconds left in the first overtime to cut the Red Storm lead to 69-68. DePaul then put Kennedy on the line, and he split two shots.
Kelly then dribbled the length of the court and converted a layup just before time expired in the first overtime to send the game to a second overtime.
Horne's basket gave St. John's its first lead of the game at 62-60 with 1:58 left in the first overtime. Kennedy made a 3-pointer and then added a free throw to extend St. John's lead to 66-60 with 39.5 seconds left. Kennedy made two more free throws to put the Red Storm up 68-63 with 26.8 seconds left.
The Red Storm trailed 52-40 with 8:43 left in regulation. But Kennedy, who scored 15 points in the second half, made a 3-pointer, and Horne followed with another to get the Red Storm within 56-54 with 2:43 left.
Coming out of an inbounds play with 7.2 seconds left, Kennedy drove to the basket and found Burrell for a dunk to tie it 56-56 with 2 seconds left. Walker's wild half-court shot was blocked as time expired.
The Red Storm went 9:13 without a field goal in the first half. During that span DePaul outscored St. John's 15-1. Koshwal connected on a full-court pass to Walker, Stovall made a 3-pointer and Walker had a put-back to give DePaul a 30-10 lead.
St. John's shot 28.6 percent from the floor, went 3-for-9 from the free throw line and committed nine turnovers in the first half, but rebounded to shoot a combined 53.8 percent in the second half and three overtime periods. The Red Storm finished the game with a 53-43 edge on the boards.
St. John's played without second-leading scorer Dwight Hardy, who sprained his left knee in Tuesday's loss to Syracuse.
The Red Storm, at least temporarily in 13th place in the conference standings, awaits its final seed and opponent for the 2010 BIG EAST Basketball Championship First Round, which begins on Tuesday, March 9, at Madison Square Garden. The No. 12/No. 13 game is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will air on ESPN2.