When the buzzer sounded ending regulation play Saturday night at Southern California College, the Cal State Dominguez Hills men’s basketball team thought it had won its third game of the season.
But referee Dave Maddux, who was near midcourt, made a delayed call that allowed a desperation layup by Vanguard Jeff Bickmore to count although it appeared the clock had run out. The shot tied the score of non-conference game, 60-60, and the Vanguards went on to defeat Dominguez Hills, 67-64, in overtime.
It was the third overtime loss for Dominguez Hills (2-4) this season.
The controversy surrounding the final seconds of regulation play was only a small portion of a wild and sometimes out-of-control game.
“It was pretty obvious that that shot was after the buzzer,” Toro Coach Dave Yanai said. “But we had plenty of opportunities to nail down a victory for ourselves and we didn’t knock them down.”
Yanai was talking about free throws. The Toros missed six foul shots in the final minutes of regulation and the overtime period.
“When you put yourself in that kind of situation by not taking care of opportunities earlier in the game, you set yourself up for a call like that to make a difference,” Yanai said.
Dominguez Hills trailed by as many as nine points, but rallied to tie the score, 54-54, on a basket by guard Robert Barksdale with 6:07 to go in regulation.
In the final 1:50, center Michael Moore and guard John Brown missed a pair of free throws.
Dominguez Hills took the lead with four seconds left on a rebound basket by center Albert Kiilehua.
On the inbounds pass, the Vanguards’ Jason Quinn brought the ball along the right side of the court, and once across the midcourt, flung a desperation shot that hit the bottom of the rim.
But under the basket stood Bickmore, who scored on a reverse lay-in as Dominguez Hills players celebrated.
It was a physical final five minutes. Barksdale missed one of two free throws and so did Vincent Washington.
Bickmore gave SCC the lead for good, 64-63, when he made one of two free throws with 1:07 remaining.
Brown’s three-point shot from the left corner bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.