Why it matters: When it comes to bizarre, this basketball loss to Fordham may top them all. Coach Eddie Fogler lost his first game, after three wins, at WSU after the Shockers blew a 14-point lead. A technical foul, for celebrating by dumping water on the coach, on Fordham in the final seconds of double overtime almost rescued the Shockers.
Date: Dec. 6, 1986
Short version: WSU led 48-34 in the second half and 63-56 with 1:11 remaining. Then things got wild in the championship game of the Shocker Shootout at Levitt Arena. Fordham’s Joe Franco made three three-pointers in the final minute to force overtime. Fordham’s Greg Pedro made a three with one second to play to force a second overtime. When Dan O’Sullivan made two free throws with 12 seconds to play, it appeared Fordham’s 91-83 lead would hold up.
It did, barely.
WSU’s Joe Griffin made a three. A Fordham player dumped water on coach Bob Quinn, drawing a delay-of-game technical foul with one second remaining. Gary Cundiff made both free throws, cutting the Fordham lead to 91-88. Gus Santos made a three – and referees waved it off as coming after the buzzer. Fogler asked the referees to review the film, something that wasn’t allowed at the time to reverse a call.
“They were nice enough to talk to me,” Fogler said. “They showed me the rule (about replay) and they were right. . . We lost the game in the second half. We didn’t lose it in overtime.”
More details: WSU shot 59 free throws and and made 40 (tying a record). Six Shockers scored in double figures, led by Steve Grayer with 21 and Henry Carr with 17. Pedro finished with 29 points and tournament MVP honors. The Shockers rebounded adequately from the potentially devastating loss. After a loss at No. 4 Purdue, WSU defeated Mississippi State and Kansas State on its way to an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Oddly enough: Six Fordham players fouled out and a seventh was ejected.
Quotable: “It shouldn’t have come down to that shot.” – Santos.