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Big East admits two officiating errors

St. John's head coach Steve Lavin reacts during

St. John's head coach Steve Lavin reacts during his team's win over Rutgers in the second round of the Big East Tournament. (Mar. 9, 2011) Photo Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

You can add a blunder by the officials to the chaotic ending of the St. John's-Rutgers game, too. 

Trailing 65-63 after a D.J. Kennedy foul shot with 4.9 seconds left, Rutgers had a chance to tie the score in the waning seconds, but Scarlet Knights forward Gilvydas Biruta lost the ball to Justin Brownlee on the in-bound pass.

Brownlee dribbled out of traffic, but traveled and then stepped out of bounds before tossing the ball into the stands as time expired. The clock should have been stopped and Rutgers given possession, but the referees missed the call.

Had a call been made, Rutgers would've gotten the ball back with 1.7 seconds left and a chance to tie or win the game.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto issue a statement after the game.

"The Big East Conference acknowledges that two separate officiating errors occurred at the conclusion of the St. John's vs. Rutgers game. Both missed violations should have caused the game clock to stop and a change of possession to occur prior to the end of the game. Neither error is reviewable or correctanle under NCAA playing rules."

St. John's coach Steve Lavin said he wasn't aware of any violation until someone mentioned it after the game.

"I don't know if he threw it in the air before he stepped out of bounds or if he stepped out of bounds and then threw it in the air," Lavin said. "I'm not sure what the sequence was. It was chaotic."

Rutgers coach Mike Rice saw the replay almost immediately following the game

"No, was there a mistake made?" he asked rhetorically. "I saw it on YouTUbe. There was a mistake. They will admit it."

 

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