Bookert hits big 3, scores 13 in NIT semifinals at MSG
They call Madison Square Garden in New York City ‘The World’s Most Famous Arena’ and tonight for a moment Devon Bookert of Anchorage took center stage.
The Florida State guard hit the biggest shot of his life in the closing seconds of the NIT semifinal when he drained a game-tying, buzzer-beating 3-pointer to force overtime against Minnesota. FSU wound up losing 67-64.
Bookert, of West High fame, finished with 13 points and took over at crunch time, pumping in seven points in the final 21 seconds of regulation to push the game to OT.
After Minnesota sank two free throws to go up 58-53, Bookert responded with a coast-to-coast layup in just five seconds.
Then Minnesota sank two free throws to go up 60-55 and again Bookert took the inbounds pass and went straight to the rim for a layup in just five seconds.
Finally, with eight seconds left, Minnesota missed a pair of free throws and Florida State got the ball to Bookert who took the ball to the left, cut back to his right behind a screen and let it fly from the top of the key.
After making the shot, Bookert let out a scream for the whole world to hear while ESPN college basketball analyst Bobby Knight scolded Minnesota for not fouling “the young man from Anchorage, Alaska.”
Speaking of Alaskans and big shots, Bookert’s Bomb looked a lot like Mario’s Miracle in the 2008 NCAA championship game when Anchorage’s Mario Chalmers of Kansas hit the tying 3 from the top of the key in the closing seconds of regulation. Kansas eventually won in OT.
Bookert made 7-of-11 3-pointers in four NIT games.
The 6-goot-3 starter finished the season with a career-high 8.5-point scoring average in 36 games, FSU won 22 games.