November 18, 2011
The MVP of Texas A&M's 58-57 victory over St. John's on Friday evening didn't score any points, grab any rebounds or dish out any assists.
In fact, she won't even appear in the box score.
Anna Cate Kennedy, 7-year-old daughter of Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy, merits that honor for her one-of-a-kind brand of free throw defense during the 2K Sports Classic third-place game. Each time a St. John's player went to the free-throw line late in the second half, Anna Cate would unleash a shrill, piercing shriek so loud it was audible for fans throughout cavernous Madison Square Garden and for TV viewers at home.
It's impossible to know for sure whether Anna Cate's screeching impacted the St. John's free throw shooters, but it sure looked that way. The Johnnies missed six of eight foul shots in the final four minutes, most notably a pair of errant free throws by sophomore Nurideen Lindsey with St. John's trailing by a point and two seconds remaining.
CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman chatted after the game with Anna Cate, who told him she's been doing this for about a year even though her dad has asked her to tone down the screaming on the road.
Texas A&M needed Anna Cate to keep the score close because St. John's had an incredible advantage in free throw opportunities, sinking 22 of 38 foul shots compared to just three attempts for the Aggies.
All the Johnnies needed was to make one more to force overtime. Anna Cate Kennedy helped make sure it didn't happen.