Controversial call against Aaliyah Edwards mars end of UConn women’s basketball Final Four run

UConn ahead Aaliyah Edwards (3) grabs a rebound in entrance of Iowa guard Kate Martin, proper, through the second half of a Last 4 school basketball recreation within the girls’s NCAA Event, Friday, April 5, 2024, in Cleveland. UConn misplaced 71-69. (AP Photograph/Morry Gash)

CLEVELAND – UConn senior Nika Muhl had simply hit a 3-pointer to chop Iowa’s lead within the NCAA Event semifinal recreation to 1 level. Freshman KK Arnold had a steal. Momentum was turning, perhaps, in UConn’s favor and the Huskies had been rallying in opposition to the top-seeded Hawkeyes in entrance of a sellout crowd at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Friday evening.

Then, with 3.9 seconds left, UConn senior Aaliyah Edwards was known as for a foul on an unlawful display screen on Iowa’s Gabbie Marshall. Iowa received the ball again; UConn needed to foul. The momentum was gone and time ran out and the Huskies misplaced 71-69 to Iowa, their post-season run over.

X, previously Twitter, erupted with protests over the decision, each the timing of it and was it actually a foul? LeBron James weighed in: “Nahhhh, I ain’t rolling with that decision.” Dez Bryant known as the sport “extraordinarily rigged.” Swin Money posted: “That ref that known as that foul shouldn’t be in a position to name one other last 4 for a min!” LSU’s Angel Reese mentioned: “Wait was that display screen not set clear?” Even Sen. Chris Murphy weighed in: “What a joke of a name.”

“My standpoint, it was fairly clear,” Edwards mentioned after the sport.

“I imply, there’s in all probability an unlawful display screen name that you would make on each single possession,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma mentioned. “I simply know there have been three or 4 of them known as on us and I don’t assume there have been any known as on them. So I suppose we simply gotta get higher at not setting unlawful screens.”

Paige Bueckers took the excessive street when requested concerning the name after the sport.

“We simply had a play, I believed we executed it nicely,” she mentioned. “We had been going to get a shot off. The whistle blew. I didn’t see it. It was within the rear of me. I used to be simply attempting to return off the display screen.

“Everyone could make an enormous deal of that one single play, however not one single play wins a basketball recreation or loses a basketball recreation. I really feel there have been a number of errors that I made that would have prevented that play from even being that large or inflicting us to lose the sport.

“Yeah, perhaps that was a troublesome name for us, however I really feel like I might have accomplished a greater job stopping that from even taking place.”

Muhl mentioned she “may say some dangerous stuff,” so she didn’t need to touch upon the decision however echoed Buecker’s sentiment.

“Even with that decision, I don’t assume one name, one possession decides the sport,” she mentioned. “Much more goes into it. I can sit right here and rely all of the dangerous choices, errors I personally made. We are able to say that misplaced us the sport however that’s not the case.”

UConn was up by 12 within the first half and doing a great job of holding Iowa’s star Caitlin Clark down defensively. Within the second half, the protection broke down a bit and Iowa got here again. The Huskies, with a skinny bench, have needed to cope with foul bother each through the season and within the event however have managed it pretty nicely. KK Arnold and Ice Brady had 4 fouls however the others had been in good condition on the finish of the sport.

Then got here the decision. Auriemma reacted in disbelief. However after the sport, like Bueckers, he spoke of missed alternatives like how UConn didn’t get a rebound on a missed free throw by Clark with three seconds left with the Huskies trailing by two.

“The display screen name and the missed free throw, I feel these two issues mixed – whether or not they had been the fitting name or unsuitable name, we now have no management over the decision on the display screen. We had no management over that,” he mentioned. “However we had management over whether or not we received the rebound or not. We had alternative on the very finish and if we safe that rebound, now we now have yet one more probability to win the sport.

“We didn’t need to win the sport by the best way we performed the final couple of possessions.”



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