Momentum can make a world of difference in college basketball. Marquette's Vander Blue ensured that the Golden Eagles will have plenty heading into the postseason, as he laid in a game-winning shot against St. John’s in the Golden Eagles’ final contest of the regular season.
The Red Storm faced a 10-point deficit with under three minutes left to play, but thrilled fans at Madison Square Garden with a comeback to push the game into overtime.
With the score tied at 67, Marquette trusted its leading scorer on the season to sink the final shot and give the team a share of the Big East regular-season title with Georgetown.
With 7.4 seconds left on the clock, Blue got the ball and showed patience and composure. He waited for 290-pound forward Davante Gardner to lumber into position for a high screen, and then put his head down and attacked.
This forced Red Storm center Chris Obekpa to switch onto the crafty Marquette guard. With everything working out just as it was drawn up, there was only one thing left for Blue to do.
He finished his drive by cradling the ball and delivering a smooth finger roll that bounced high off the backboard and rattled around the rim before falling through, sucking all the air out of the historic New York City arena and giving the Golden Eagles a 69-67 victory.
The thrilling win pushed Marquette’s record for the season to 23-7 overall and 14-4 in the Big East. St. John’s dropped to 16-14 on the year and 8-10 against conference opponents.
Blue will surely be looking to deliver more heroics in the postseason.