Sunday, October 17

Baylor’s DiJonai Carrington says umpires missed late foul against UConn: ‘I don’t see it as a controversial decision’

Monday night’s Elite Eight women’s contest between Baylor and UConn ended in controversy or, if you ask a Bears player, it simply ended with a major umpiring error.

After rebounding that Christyn Williams missed a UConn free throw with less than 20 seconds left in regulation, Baylor called a timeout to set up a final play. Facing a one-point deficit, the Lady Bears got the ball into the hands of DiJonai Carrington, who drove down the left side of the lane and came up short on a jump shot.

The live angle appeared to show two Huskies defenders going up and forcing Carrington to try hard. UConn achieved a 69-67 victory and advanced to its thirteenth consecutive Final Four. What an incredible battle between two college basketball powerhouses.

Oh wait. This angle. . . Yes, that is a lot of contact.

When asked about the no-call after the game, Carrington told reporters there was no controversy because he was hit in the face and arm. Unsurprisingly, Baylor’s coach, Kim Mulkey, agreed with that assessment.

Carrington also sent a post-game tweet: “You can’t swallow the whistle when the game is on. The movie doesn’t lie.”

UConn coach Geno Auriemma said he hadn’t seen the play again, but noted that he could also go back and see potential first-half missed calls.

“A call is a call, and you have to live with it,” Auriemma said.

The focus was (understandably) on the no-call, but Baylor also squandered a great opportunity to put the game out of reach in the second half. The Bears held a 55-45 lead with two minutes left in the third quarter, but the Huskies scored 19 consecutive points to gain a 64-55 lead early in the quarter. Mulkey didn’t burn a timeout during the entirety of that 19-0 streak, which occurred after Baylor’s DiDi Richards left the game with a hamstring injury.

There are several unanswered questions of this game. What if Mulkey had used a timeout? What if Richards had never been hurt? What if Auriemma had access to videos? (Okay, maybe not the last).

But the most important: what if Carrington had gone to the line for two free throws? A call is a call, and also a non-call, and you have to live with that.

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