Syracuse, N.Y. — Trailing by four to Notre Dame in the game’s final moments with possession, Syracuse Orange men’s basketball freshman Joe Girard received a pass on a kick out from Marek Dolezaj after an offensive rebound.
With four seconds on the clock, Girard took one-dribble, did a step back and pulled the trigger from three. As he did, Notre Dame’s Prentiss Hubb and Dane Goodwin closed out on Girard. The shot found the bottom of the net and Girard fell to the ground looking for a four-point play, but no foul was called. It was unclear if there was any contact on the play.
“I couldn’t see. Couldn’t tell,” Jim Boeheim said after the game.
The whistle never blew and by the time the ball fell through the bottom of the net 0.4 seconds remained on the clock. Notre Dame quickly inbounded the ball and before Syracuse could foul the game was over.
Asked if he felt it were contact on the play, Girard said perhaps but he was more focused on the shot.
“I mean maybe a little bit,” Girard said, unsure if it was a missed call or not. “I was just trying to make a shot.”
Fellow freshman Quincy Guerrier said he didn’t see the play as he was focused on crashing the glass.
“I didn’t really see it honestly. I was just crashing the board,” Guerrier said.
Elijah Hughes said he didn’t see the play either, but understands it’s hard for a referee to make that judgement call that could dictate the ultimate result of the game.
“Honestly I didn’t see it. I didn’t really look at it,” Hughes said. “As a ref though it’s kind of hard to make those calls in those specific situations.”
Nobody out of the Syracuse locker room could admit whether or not they thought there was a foul or not.
Notre Dame sophomore Hubb said he was more focused on the time left in the game amid the confusion.
“Well I was more focused on whether it was time on the clock left,” Notre Dame’s Hubb said after the game. “It was like 0.4 second left or something like that. And their whole team was standing around. Both teams are standing around like, ‘What happened? What happened?’ And my first thought was to get the ball as quick as possible because they can’t really foul us when that much time is left.”
Hubb hustled to grab the ball after it fell through the bottom of the net. He inbounded the ball to John Mooney and time expired before Syracuse could foul. The game ended with Notre Dame edging Syracuse 88-87.