I am not the one that usually blames officials for any type of loss, but this game is different.
Dwight Hardy scored the game-winning basket on a drive past Panthers defender Gilbert Brown. Both of his feet appeared to be out of bounds, but the referee was right there to make a call, but he decided not to blow the whistle.
The game was decided by free throws throughout the whole second half. I told people that St. Johns was allowed back in the game because of the officials. These statistics will prove that.
There were 12 fouls collected by the Red Storm compared to 10 fouls on the Panthers in the first half alone.
In the second half, Pittsburgh accumulated 16 fouls and St. Johns only had 5 or 6.
St. Johns shot 14 more free throws than Pittsburgh. They were 23-32 from the charity stripe in the game, 17-23 in the second half alone.
Every touch foul was being called on the Panthers that resulted in free throw attempts.
Pittsburgh was up 56-51 with three minutes to go. St John’s ultimately took the lead without making a field goal! They led 58-56 on 7-8 shooting from the free throw line.
Throw in the fact that Dwight Hardy (possibly) stepped on the base line and the officials had a lot to do with the outcome of this game.
Anybody who was watching this game would recognize the home cooking St. Johns received. But, Pittsburgh did play a huge role in losing the game. They couldn’t box out rebounders, turned the ball over and made crucial mistakes down the stretch run of this game
The Panthers need to get back to work and finish the season strong because they don’t have anything locked up quite yet. They are two games up on Notre Dame for the Big East regular season title and are eyeing a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Pittsburgh finishes with West Virginia at home, Louisville and South Florida on the road and Villanova at home to finish the regular season.
About the Author
Written by Justin Welton
Born in Franklin, PA. Life-long Pittsburgh sports fan + Boston Celtics. Attending Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Working for WCUC - 91.7 and WCUB-TV. Clarion Call writer for two years.