Iowa picked up a big home win over No. 17 Purdue on Thursday night, but it didn’t come without controversy.
With 13 seconds left in the game and the Hawkeyes up one, Iowa’s Cordell Pemsl missed a free throw that was eventually knocked out of bounds. Caleb Swanigan opted not to grab the loose ball, letting it bounce into Iowa’s bench where it was ruled to be off of a Purdue player.
The play went to review and, somehow, after spending three minutes watching replays of the play, the referees determined that it was inconclusive. (It wasn’t. This was off of Iowa.)
So you tell me: Who did this go off of?
The refs missed this one.
But blaming this loss on that one bad call would be foolish for Purdue and Purdue fans, because the Boilermakers had plenty of chances to make sure that they didn’t have to risk everything on a replay review. The possession before the free throw, Swanigan, Purdue’s all-american center, didn’t grab the loose ball when it went out of bounds. The possession before the free throw, he missed a shot from point-blank range that would have put Purdue up 80-79. The possession before that, Swanigan turned the ball over after Ryan Cline missed a wide-open three and Isaac Haas missed a layup on the same possession. Before that, P.J. Thompson missed an open three from the corner. Before that, Cline missed two free throws.
In total, Purdue came up empty on five straight possessions in the final 2:19, and on every possession the Boilermakers could have either taken the lead or tied the game.
Yes, that call was awful, but Purdue lost this game all by themselves.