Razorbacks still losers vs. Tigers


Published: Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 12:19 a.m.
LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas is still the loser of Wednesday night's game at LSU.
Officials from the Southeastern Conference ruled Friday that a shot Arkansas coaches believed was a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the Razorbacks' 66-63 overtime loss to the Tigers was correctly scored as two points.
SEC spokesman Dewayne Peevy said John Guthrie, the league's supervisor of officials, reviewed videotape of Michael Jones' shot with 1.8 seconds left in regulation that one game official counted for a game-tying two points while another ruled it a 3.
The scoreboard showed that Jones' bucket gave Arkansas a 59-58 lead and LSU missed a desperation shot at the buzzer. When it was changed, the game went to OT tied at 58.
''One official signaled a 2-point shot as the shot was taken and another signaled a 3-point shot after the shot was made,'' the statement said. ''The official who signaled a 3-point goal never communicated his call to the other official.
''As a result, in the judgment of the official who had signaled a 2-point goal, the ruling on the floor at that time was that the shot was a 2-point goal,'' the statement said.
The game's official scorer and the scoreboard operator apparently were watching two different officials, the statement said.
Peevy said statements were taken from each of the officials before Friday's meeting.
Under SEC rules, the play could not be reviewed with 1.8 seconds left because the officials had to wait until the next dead-ball situation.
After the buzzer sounded ending regulation time, ''the officials watched a number of replays of the shot in question to review the call and saw nothing to support a change to a 3-point goal,'' the statement said. ''The conference office review of the same videotapes available to the officiating crew at courtside concurs with the officials' judgment that the replays were not sufficiently conclusive to support a change to a 3-point goal.''
According to the statement, the miscommunication among the officiating crew and between the officials and the Razorbacks coaching staff ''resulted in confusion about the initial ruling.''
''The conference office is taking appropriate action regarding the miscommunication issue,'' the statement said.
''I trust our conference office will handle the situation appropriately,'' Arkansas coach Stan Heath said in a statement Friday. ''I'm disappointed that some of the information that we know will not be known publicly, but I have faith that the SEC will work through this situation. We will move on to our next opponent and I will have no further comment on this issue.''
No mention was made of Jones traveling before taking his shot.
Heath accused officials of changing the score after noticing that Jones traveled before shooting. He said that, because the referees couldn't penalize the traveling, they chose changing the point value as a remedy.

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