Officials acknowledge mistake in Minnesota game

Updated: January 17, 2007, 11:06 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The Women's Basketball Officiating Consortium ruled Wednesday that the game officials made a mistake in counting the game-winning basket in South Dakota State's victory over Minnesota on Sunday.

The consortium acknowledged that the officiating crew misapplied the ruling concerning when a game has ended.

Maria Boever made a layup with no time on the clock that gave South Dakota State a 59-58 win. After watching a video replay for a few minutes the officials changed their ruling to say the shot didn't count. South Dakota State coach Aaron Johnston protested and the officials watched the tape one more time and finally decided to count the basket.

Official John Morningstar said after the game that they decided to count the basket because "they felt that the ball had left the South Dakota State player's hand before the red LED lights that surround the backboard glowed."

The NCAA rule (2-5-2 B) says officials after making a call at the end of a half shall use replay equipment when available to decide if a field goal attempted at or near the expiration of the game clock, was released before the reading of 00.0 on the game clock.

"That was the ruling that was misapplied," Patty Broderick, the coordinator of officials for the WBOC, said in a statement. "With 00.0 on the game clock, the ball is absolutely in the South Dakota State player's hand and that is what determines whether a shot is good or not good in regards to reviewing a play at the end of a game on a monitor."

There is no appeals process for Minnesota (11-7) once the officials leave the court. While the game can't be overturned, Minnesota coach Pam Borton was satisfied with the ruling.

"Life isn't fair but this situation is what it is," she said. "We have moved on and have focused all of our energy on our next game. We have an important game at Illinois to prepare for."

Minnesota beat Northwestern on a shot at the buzzer in its previous game.

"It's been an emotional roller coaster," Borton said. "Just a buzzer-beater on the other end of the spectrum. We really don't want to put ourselves in a situation where the game comes down to the last play."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press