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Officials say winning basket should not have counted

1/18/2007

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."