Shockwaves

Start the clock: Boise State, Wichita State linked through official and a stopwatch

Creighton's Booker Woodfox, center, celebrates with Cavel Witter, right, and Kenny Lawson, right, after hitting a last second shot to beat WSU 63-62 in a 2009 MVC quarterfinal game.
Creighton's Booker Woodfox, center, celebrates with Cavel Witter, right, and Kenny Lawson, right, after hitting a last second shot to beat WSU 63-62 in a 2009 MVC quarterfinal game. The Wichita Eagle

Call this a reverse Booker Woodfox.

         

Poor David Hall.

His officiating crew is taking heat for waving off a last-second basket by Boise State’s James Webb III. If Hall’s explanation sounds familiar, you remember Wichita State’s 2009 MVC Tournament loss to Creighton.

Here is Hall’s statement, courtesy of The Coloradoan (which breaks down the events nicely):

“The protocol on any last-second shot, after the shot is made, you go to the monitor to review whether the shot was taken in time or not. We followed the protocol, we went to the monitor and we reviewed whether the shot was taken in the 0.8 seconds that was on the game clock when the ball was inbounded. We did that and we noticed that the game clock was not started upon touch. We then used a stopwatch overlay from the monitor review system to determine when he touched it and then figure out how many tenths of a second it took from the time he touched the ball until the time he released the ball and whether he was able to get that shot off in that 0.8 seconds. After reviewing that several times we determined that the shot was late. It was not taken in that 0.8-second time frame, but actually closer to 1.2 or 1.3 time frame. As a result, the basket does not count.”

The game went to overtime, where Boise State lost 97-93 to Colorado State. All three members of the officiating crew — Hall, Verne Harris, Tom O’Neill — have worked Final Fours.

Hall also officiated the 2009 MVC Tournament game, won 63-62 by Creighton on a much-disputed shot by Woodfox.

In that game, officials counted the shot to spoil a 22-point WSU rally, a potential game-winning three by Toure Murry and a dominant second half by J.T. Durley.

Second-seed Creighton, down 62-61 after a Murry three with nine seconds to go, inbounded the ball with 1.9 seconds to play. Woodfox took the pass and bobbled the ball in the corner. He dribbled twice to get past Murry, and floated up a shot.

“That was the longest 1.9 seconds I have ever seen, “ Shockers guard Clevin Hannah said.

The aftermath, which also included stopwatches, featured media members and athletic directors watching a replay in a TV truck and MVC commissioner Doug Elgin explaining the mess in a hallway in the Scottrade Center.

“We looked at it in the truck and it was clear to us the shot left the shooter’s hand between 1.0 and 0.9 left, “ Elgin said that night. “We took a stopwatch to the inbounding of the ball from the time the ball was touched to the time the clock started. The clock clearly started late, there’s no doubt about that. We determined there was at least 0.4 differential between the end of the game and when the shot left the hand. The shot was before the expiration of time (had the clock started properly).”

Wichita State disagreed and will still disagree with the explanations.

Boise State is on the opposite, yet same, end and Hall has seen both unfortunate endings up close.

Update: The Mountain West Conference reviewed the decision and say the officials got it right.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

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