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Colorado State 97 – Boise State 93 (2OT)

February 11, 2016

In the most bizarre series of events in the last 15 years and maybe in the 50-year history of Moby Arena, the Colorado State Rams somehow managed to find a way to end on the north side of the final score. The quality of the offensive play way high by both teams and it made for a wonderfully entertaining affair, marred only by a trio of striped twits by the names of Verne Harris, David Hall, and Tom O’Neill.

Boise entered Moby Arena on a three-game bender, the most recent of which was a low-energy effort at Air Force.  Tonight they played with energy. Boise was a scorching 18-35 from beyond the arc.  They were 17-22 from the free throw line.  They had 18 assists to only 11 turnovers.  They played well. They lost.

The Rams repeatedly took Boise’s best punch.  Not because they were leaving their jaw exposed but because Boise was throwing good punches.  And yet CSU continually made the right plays at the right time to keep the game under control. They picked themselves off the mat more than once and made the shots in the second overtime to emerge victorious.

The game opened with both teams shooting well from the perimeter and CSU raced out to a 17-12 lead.  Then in a matter of seconds, starters Tiel Daniels and Joe De Ciman were sent to the bench with a pair of fouls each. With nearly 12 minutes remaining in the half.  It was a critical time for the Rams as Daniels is the best interior defender on the team.  It was a matter of survival at this point and the Rams passed the exam with flying colors as Kimani Jackson and Fred Richardson came off the bench in support of Emmanuel Omogbo to keep the game under control.  The Rams went into the locker room leading 36-34, a remarkable feat as Boise’s Montigo Alford was ripping the Rams from the perimeter.  CSU frosh Prentiss Nixon was matching Alford nearly shot for shot.

Boise continued their hot shooting after the break and pushed their nose in front. The Rams countered with big plays repeatedly. Antwan Scott, DeCiman, and John Gillon scored from the perimter. Daniels was scoring at the rim.  no ther team was getting to the free throw line repeatedly. They had begun the half drawing the first six whistles and that’s where the game was going to be won.

Until the referees interjected themselves.

Tom O’Neill made a crazy bad palming call on Boise State’s Mikey Thompson right in front of the Boise bench.  Thompson was not gaining any advantage, just dribbling lowly.  It was as if O’Neill was baiting Boise coach Leon Rice. Awful.

At just inside of 4 minutes, the Rams had committed only 3 fouls. 30 seconds later there total was at 6.  The first foul was legit.  The next two were phantom touch fouls on calls by Harris and Hall.  They had decided they were going to even the foul count because that is what officials do.  

The Rams fell behind by 3 and called a timeout.  It appeared that the play called during the TO was “Hoist up the first open 3”.  John Gillon was uncovered 6′ behind the arc and hoisted up a 3.  Draino! Tie game.  A stop, a pair of free throws by Daniels, a short jumper by Boise’s James Webb and the game was tied with 12 seconds left.

And then the ball came to Daniels at the rim with a second remaining. An open layup. Webb came flying at Daniels and raked his left arm as he shot.  No whistle on an obvious foul. Daniels missed.

OT!

Back and forth they went and the Rams led 84-82 inside of 30 seconds.  Boise’s Mikey Thomson drove to the rim, Gillon blocked the shot attempt down near the waist.

David Hll whistle. Foul.  The replay on the video board showing the clean block had the fans howling as Thompson calmly made both tosses to tie the game.

Ram ball for the final shot.  A bad miss by Antwan Scott and the ball caromed to mid-court where Gillon either committed a backcourt violation or knocked the ball out of bounds at the halfway line with 0.8 seconds remaining.  For some reason the 3-headed monster in stripes decided to talk it over for several minutes, giving Boise an extra timeout to draw up anything that might work.

They kind of did.

The ball went to Webb on the right wing who was on the move. He took one step and threw up a prayer of a three-pointer than banked in!  The 3rd banked Boise three-pointer of the evening!  A small but energetic home crowd was silenced and the Broncos celebrated on the court.

The crowd filed out.

The officiating crew filed to mid-court to make sure the shot had been released before the buzzer went off.  It had.  But somewhere along the way, they also came to the conclusion after about 10 minutes of analysis and discussion that the timekeeper had not begun the clock fast enough, that Webb had taken 1.2 or 1.3 seconds to get the shot off and they waved the basket off.

It was the worst decision concluding a series of bad decisions on the evening by what are considered top NCAA officials. Harris and Hall have worked Final Four games in recent years. O’Neill a lot of big games over the years.

The second OT was pretty much all Rams as they ran out to an early lead (a huge Richardson three from the corner) that they pushed to 8. They survived a flurry of three’s by Anthony Drmic and scored a famous victory.

It was a great game.

Verne Harris, David Hall, and Tom O’Neill did their damndest to ruin it.

Wanna know how kids come to resent authority?

Watch this tape and you’ll see.

Want to know what kind of effort and collective will it takes for a team to find its way to the good side of a score?

Watch the tape of this game.

You’ll see a fantastic 50-minute effort by a bunch of guys in green and gold to grab a famous victory.  It could have gone either way.

It didn’t.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Judge Smails permalink
    February 11, 2016 3:14 pm

    WOW!! Boise got F*cked! Now go home and peel some spuds!!

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