For the second-straight game, a late foul on Lamonte Turner caused controversy. This time, however, the Vols couldn’t recover from the call.
Against Iowa in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Turner was called for a questionable foul on the Hawkeye’s Jordan Bohannon as he attempted a three. Bohannon went to the free throw line and connected on all three free throws, tying the game. That game ended up going to overtime, but Tennessee won.
On Thursday, Turner was again called for a foul on a three-point shooter. And again, the game went to overtime. But the Vols couldn’t gut it out in the extra period this time.
With mere seconds remaining in the second half, Purdue’s Carsen Edwards caught the inbounds pass and jacked up a three to try and give the Boilermakers the lead down 82-80. Turner closed out on him and made contact as Edwards came down. The official whistled Turner for a foul, but he vehemently disagreed with the call.
Edwards went to the line to take three free throws. He missed the first, but he made the second and third. The game went to overtime after that, and Tennessee was out of gas. Purdue prevailed 99-94 in the extra frame, and that late foul call was one of the biggest talking points after the game.
Turner himself doesn’t believe he should’ve been called for a foul because Edwards stuck his leg out on his jumper. That’s something Turner said Edwards had been doing all game.
“Any time you try to contest a shot and somebody kicks their leg out, obviously it makes it harder to contest a shot,” Turner said after the game. “I had been complaining to the refs about that all night. Last play of the game, I try to contest his shot, and he kicks his leg out. His leg made contact with my body, and they called a foul.
“I don’t really understand what I’m supposed to do right there. I’m trying to contest his shot and the guy kicks his leg out. But that’s the call that was made. It didn’t decide the game. It sent us to overtime, and we lost in overtime.”
Turner went on to add that Edwards’ kicking out of his leg was something Tennessee noticed in scouting reports, and he had made officials aware of it from the very beginning of the game.
Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes spoke to the media after the game as well — likely before hearing Turner’s comments — and said he thought the officials made the correct call in that situation.
“It was a foul. He missed the shot. Lamonte hit him after the shot,” Barnes stated. “That’s a tough play because, again, we knew — I think actually they were trying to work something inside. It was close to a five-second count. I even think they got that in. I know they got it in because I saw it.”
Barnes’ point about a five-second count is also a controversial topic at the end of the game. On that inbounds play, it seems like it took Purdue about six seconds to get the ball in, which is a violation.
However, that wasn’t called, and the foul on Turner was.
Here’s a look at the foul call in slow motion. What do you think? Was it a foul, or not?
— Chad Goebert CAA (@ChadGoebert) March 29, 2019