Up to the final seven seconds of Temple’s 72-71 win over Dayton Saturday afternoon, all was well. Those last seven seconds, though, were something else entirely.
Khalif Wyatt hit a three-pointer with 0:07 to play, officially erasing a 10-point second-half deficit and putting Temple ahead by one, 72-71. That set Dayton up with one final chance to escape with a win. Here’s where it gets weird.
Dayton guard Kevin Dillard dribbled into a trap near half court and lost the ball out of bounds with 0:03 to play. Dayton coach Archie Miller was livid at the lack of a foul. Perhaps “Strike 1” for the referees. But it gets worse.
Temple in-bounded the ball to senior Scootie Randall, who appeared to elude a Dayton defender and allowing him to bleed out the clock. The referees, though, called a foul and forced Randall to the line. Strike 2. He proceeded to miss both free throws, keeping the game at 72-71. Dayton grabbed the rebound and called a timeout, giving the Flyers 1.3 seconds to try and full-court pass.
On the in-bound, Temple’s Anthony Lee was called for a defensive foul while trying to fight through a screen, what appeared to be another bad call working against the Owls in the span of just two seconds. Strike 3. That sent Dayton’s Josh Benson to the line with the chance to tie or take the lead.
But Benson missed both.
Temple’s Jake O’Brien grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 0:01 to play. It’s over, right? No. O’Brien missed the first and tried to intentionally miss the second, but failed to hit the rim. This gave Dayton one final chance at another full-court in-bounds, but the ball was tipped and the clock ran out. Game over.
Has there been a worse seven-second stretch of officiating in college basketball this season? If there is, please present it as Exhibit A. Temple had two key fouls work in Dayton’s favor and, had even one of Benson’s free throws fallen and forced overtime, we could be talking about an even bigger officiating controversy.
For now, though, Temple escapes.