Officials say winning basket should not have counted
NEW YORK -- The Women's Basketball Officiating Consortium ruled Wednesday that the game officials made a series of mistakes that led them to count the game-winning basket in South Dakota State's victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers women's team on Sunday.
The consortium acknowledged that the officiating crew misapplied the ruling concerning when a game has ended and also mishandled the video replay.
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.
"They didn't procedurely handle the review of the video properly," said Patty Broderick, the coordinator of officials for the WBOC. "Obviously coaches aren't supposed to be around. It was one mistake after another. They got caught up in the emotion of it."
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) states 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 ruling was misapplied," Broderick said. "With 00.0 on the game clock, the ball is absolutely in the South Dakota State player's hand. 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, the officials have been disciplined.
"We did assess a penalty," Broderick said, without revealing it. "It was a penalty that fits the misapplication of the rule. We as officials have to be held accountable."
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