The Lynx advanced to the WNBA Finals on Sunday by beating the Mercury 72-71 in Phoenix to win a semifinal series. Maya Moore was fouled with 1.5 seconds to play and hit the game-winning free throw.
The WNBA today said the foul should not have been called.
According to the league's release:
Renee Brown, WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations, issued the following statement today regarding the foul call with 1.5 seconds to play in the fourth quarter of the Minnesota Lynx’s 72-71 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday at Talking Stick Resort Arena:
“With 5.4 seconds on the game clock and the game tied at 71-71, Minnesota’s Maya Moore deflected and stole a pass from Phoenix’s Noelle Quinn. Quinn was immediately called for a reach-in foul for contact on Moore. After reviewing postgame video and interviewing last night’s game officials, we have determined a foul should not have been called on Quinn for contact on Moore while Moore was attempting to advance the ball.”
Phoenix officials said they would not comment on Brown's statement. After Sunday's game loss, the team's coach and star player expressed frustration:
"I don't care. Say whatever. It was a horrible call," center Brittney Griner said. "It's very frustrating how it happened. It's very frustrating for a ref to call a call like that at the end of the game. ... There were a lot of calls, but that call stands out the most. Horrible."
Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said: "I mean, are you kidding me? No. 1, it wasn't a foul. So to make that big a (call), that's — I don't know. That's just frustrating. Let the two best teams decide, with the extra five minutes (of overtime), who wins the game."
The WNBA has also announced the schedule for the championship series, which will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday -- in New York City if the Liberty win Game 3 of its series agaist Indiana or at Target Center if Indiana wins.
The rest of the series:
Game 2: Tuesday, Oct. 6
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 9.
Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 11 (if necessday)
Game 5: Wednesday, Oct. 14 (if necessary).
Games 2 through 5 are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Material from The Associated Press is included in this report