AP Photo/Wade Payne

The Rutgers Women’s Basketball team upset (the soon to be) top-ranked Lady Vols in Tennessee for the first time in school history tonight. There was only one small problem with the win—technically, it was a loss.

Candace Parker missed a hook shot with less than one second remaining and her teammate got the rebound and put the shot back up as time expired. The only problem was, time never expired. The game clock froze at 0.2 seconds for about half of a second, then ran to 0.0. In the extra illegal time, the referee called a foul on Rutgers’ Kia Vaughn and Tennessee made both of their foul shots to “win” the game.

I’m a huge Rutgers fan and right now I’m furious, but I’m trying to approach this issue objectively. The foul was called officially when the referee raised his hand in the air and blew his whistle. Repeated viewings proved that the hand lift took place more than a full second after the clock froze at 0.2, giving Rutgers an honest, hard-fought victory.

It would seem that the refs completely missed the frozen clock, or chose to ignore it because they were scared to do the right thing. The replay made it abundantly clear that Tennessee didn’t deserve to take those two foul shots, and after watching it a number of times it is beyond me how the referees could have just ignored it.

Clock problems continued on the inbound pass, where Rutgers attempted to catch ‘n’ shoot. The ball was caught, and the clock once again didn’t start. But instead of questioning it, the referees called the game over and ran off the court before they could be questioned.

Something was up tonight in Tennessee. Rutgers made an incredible comeback, and played one of the best games they’ve ever played, and it was stolen from them by referees and clock operators and all these factors that should never, ever impact the outcome of a game like this. It was tragic, and it was unfair.

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