St. John’s defeated Boston University, 62-57, despite a lackluster shooting night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament March 20.
“This time of year, any time you win, you’ve just got to be grateful for the win and the opportunity to play another game,” St. John’s Head Coach Mike Jarvis said.
The Johnnies received contributions from an unlikely source – freshman forward Tim Doyle – and were able to pull away from BU late in the second half.
Doyle, who did not play in the previous two games, made big play after big play during a 15-3 run to keep the Red Storm’s season alive.
With St. John’s trailing 46-42 and 6:35 remaining in the game, Doyle hit a jumper and then a free throw to cut Boston University’s lead to one.
Anthony Glover put back Doyle’s second free throw attempt, and after BU’s Ryan Butt missed a three-pointer, Doyle drew two defenders to the middle of the lane and dished the ball to a wide-open Willie Shaw, who knocked down a three-pointer of his own.
After Rashad Bell missed the front end of a one-and-one, Doyle and Shaw hooked up again for another three-pointer, giving the Storm a seven-point advantage.
St. John’s capitalized at the charity stripe, making eight of 10 free throws in the final 46 seconds to hold off the Terriers. Shaw led all Johnnies with 14 points, while Marcus Hatten had a quiet night with 12 points on just three-of-eight shooting.
The victory was SJU’s first postseason win since the first round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament, when they defeated Northern Arizona.