A buzzer-beating three apparently beat the buzzer by so much that it cost the host Sioux Falls women’s basketball team a victory Friday night.
After the Cougars’ Taylor Varsho hit a long three-pointer as time appeared to expire, students swarmed the court to celebrate what they thought was a dramatic one-point victory over NSIC-leading Winona State. But after a lengthy review, officials ruled that 0.4 seconds remained and called a technical foul on the Sioux Falls bench for the court storming.
Winona State coach Scott Ballard acknowledged that he brought up the idea of a technical foul to the officials. “I put the bug in their ear," he told the Winona Daily News "You can’t have people storming the floor before the game is over. That’s interfering with the conclusion of the game. There were hundreds of them. It wasn’t like a dozen. It was the entire student section.”
Winona State’s Alexis Foley, an 89 percent free-throw shooter from White Bear Lake, hit both free throws to give the Warriors, who are ranked 12th in NCAA Division II, a stunning 60-59 victory over Sioux Falls.
With 4.9 seconds left, Foley missed one of two free throws that would have put the Warriors up by three. Instead, trailing by two, Sioux Falls called timeout to advance the ball beyond half-court. Varsho ended up with the ball and hit a three from about 27 feet. The clock showed time expired, and fans spilled on to the floor.
When the referees reviewed the shot, though, they determined time hadn’t expired and called the technical. Winona State simply ran out the final 0.4 seconds after Foley’s two technical free throws.
Here's another view of the court storming:
Afterward, Sioux Falls coach Travis Traphagen told Ian Frazer of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader: "If that clock stops and there's a second left on, .5 seconds left on and they're on the floor, absolutely there should be a technical. But when the clock says zero and the red light is on and everything, how are the students supposed to know (whether) the game's over?"
Ballard knew that his team was luckier than it was good: He told the Winona newspaper: “We feel fortunate. We feel that we caught a break. I think I’m going to buy a lottery ticket.”
Here's the Sioux Falls newspaper's account of the game.
Here's the game story from the Winona newspaper.