I try not to comment on officiating here. I really do. Referees are human and over the course of a 40 minute game there are bound to be mistakes. There were several highly questionable calls throughout this game (including calling Syracuse for a foul when a Louisville player tripped another Louisville player) however there really is just no excuse for what happened at the end of this game. None.
Granted Louisville could’ve played with more composure in the stretch. The Cards had a 9 point lead in the 4th quarter which slowly dwindled when they went on a 13-5 run. Syracuse even took the lead with a few minutes left in the game but with under a minute to go the Cards were ahead by 1 point. With 2 seconds to go Syracuse missed a go-ahead jumper but got the rebound. With a foul to give Olivia Cochran gave a hard foul grabbing for the ball so as to be called but unlike every basketball game you’ve ever watched in the history of time this crew called that obvious foul INTENTIONAL thus giving Syracuse the free throws and the ball back. They sank their free throws. Game Orange.
Here are the game highlights from the ACC but don’t bother fast forwarding to the end see the foul. They show the free throws but left the “intentional” foul out of their edit:
After the game Coach Walz expressed his displeasure. “It’s a bush league call. Send me my fine because we never hold officials accountable. Ever.” He added, “That was just bullish*t. It was absolutely horrendous. [The official] should be embarrassed. Call it every single game because every time at the end somebody is trying to foul so every foul is intentional. It’s terrible.”
However he admitted, “We caused this. That last call was terrible but we also put ourselves in that position. It’s our fault too. We had three rebounds we don’t get, we give up threes.... unfortunately we were bad today on many levels and it’s the worst I’ve seen us play. We still should’ve won the game.” He concluded with, “I love this group and I love this team but we peed down our leg and that last call was horrendous.”
Nyla had a good game setting another career high in scoring with 22 to which she added 11 rebounds. Kiki Jefferson had 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Nina Rickards had 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Coach Walz praised Nyla’s game saying, “She’s so much more confident. She’s making 15-foot shots. She has some really good footwork around the basket. She’s not just turning and shooting into somebody. She’s moving without the ball. When she gets it she’s creating space for herself. She’s just doing a lot of really good things. She’s getting better and better right in front of us.”
The Cards stay on the road to play Boston College this Thursday at 7PM. The game can be seen on ACC Network Extra.