Troy's time in the Sun Belt Conference Women's Basketball Tournament ended in controversy on Friday. The Trojans dropped an 86-83 decision to Old Dominion, partly thanks to an ODU basket in the final seconds that came when the Monarchs had six players on the floor.
Amari Young hit a wide-open layup with ODU leading 84-83. Young's bucket came with 4.7 seconds left. Sun Belt Conference officials responded quickly after the game and acknowledged a mistake was made.
The SBC response said, in part, that "Pursuant to Rule 10, Section 12, Article 2.f, Troy should have been awarded two free throws, followed by a throw-in at the point of interruption. This violation is not included on the list of calls a coach may appeal using replay and had to be recognized before the officials left the visual confines of the playing court."
SBC officials added they would "NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee to review and assess the list of appealable calls using replay moving forward."
Troy coach Chanda Rigby expressed appreciation for the conference's response but disagreed with the assessment.
"Things happen, but I don't agree with the fact that it wasn't correctable," Rigby said. "I don't agree with that because Old Dominion had been able to stop the games many times for things. And this was pretty big. Back in the day before technology, maybe this call would stand true once the officials leave the floor. With reviewable evidence, everyone is going to see it. I don't want the officials to be shown in a bad light. I wanted to give them a chance to correct it."
If the call had been corrected, then Troy would have been in good shape to take the lead.
"That call would have been a technical, down by one," Rigby said. "We would've gotten two free throws with an 82 percent free throw shooter, and we would've gotten the ball back. But now it's over. I don't think anybody wants that. I don't want it to look bad on this tournament but I'm going to fight for my girls. We made one of the greatest comebacks in this tournament's history. We did it fair and square, and we did it with heart. It's difficult to go in and explain this to the players. I want them to leave with a great impression of this tournament and to be a Troy Trojan. But it's hard to find the words."
Troy put itself in an opportunity to win after trailing by 18 points with 7:55 left in the game. But the comeback ultimately ended in controversy. Conference officials said in their statement that the referees working the game would not work another game in the tournament.
"I apologize to head coach Chanda Rigby, the Troy women's basketball student-athletes and the Troy community for the manner in which the end of the game was officiated. No one wants a game to end this way—especially during the postseason," said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Keith Gill in the statement.
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