As odd as you’ll ever see

About as odd a sequence as you’ll ever see from UConn and Marquette tonight.

The Huskies lost in OT but it’s two plays everyone will remember.

After Junior Cadougan stuns the Huskies with a 30-footer at the buzzer, both teams line up wrong to start the OT. The officials don’t realize, let them play and Shabazz Napier scores a bucket (after a goaltend) to put UConn up 2-0.

Here’s the statement lead official Karl Hess gave to a Marquette spokesman:

“Based on Rule 5, Section 1, Article 3, when the official permits a team to go in the wrong direction, and then the error is discovered, all activity and time consumed shall count as though each team had gone in the proper direction. Play is then resumed with each team going in the proper direction,” Hess said.

“The players went in the wrong direction. Because we allowed that to happen, the only thing that was wrong is there was a goaltend on the play,” Hess continued. “We should have scored the goaltend and give Connecticut two points for that.”

If it were a “regular” game and UConn had shot at its own hoop then had it goaltended, it would be a jump ball and Marquette would have been given possession. But the teams were playing “backwards” at the time and it should have counted.

The Huskies, for the most part, didn’t blame the officials.

“You could tell we were out of it in overtime,” Napier said. “As soon as we tip off, I wasn’t thinking, (Ryan) Boatright wasn’t thinking and I damn scored on their basket.”

“That didn’t cost us the game. It was just an unfortunate play,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said.

Enosch Wolf pointed out that there is no jump ball to start overtime in Europe.

“In Europe we go by possession in overtime, so I was like ‘OK, we have a jump ball,’ ” said Wolf, who finished with six points and seven rebounds.

One of Wolf’s fellow Germans wasn’t quite as forgiving but admitted there wasn’t much the Huskies could do after the error.

“I don’t know what they did, how they came up with Marquette ball,” Niels Giffey said of the officials. “They make mistakes, too. I don’t blame them but it put us in a bad position.”



About Neill

Neill Ostrout covers the UConn men's basketball team for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. He has been a member of the "Horde" for more than 16 years.
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