Reffing Dominates Storyline During Stanford Vs. Utah

Jan 12, 2024, 10:33 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – For the second game in a row the reffing has dominated the storyline for Utah women’s basketball and not for good reasons.

The Utes came up short against Arizona on the road in overtime on Sunday and again against No. 8 Stanford at home. Both games featured some clunky calls down the stretch.

Now to be very clear, that isn’t to say there weren’t things Utah could have done better that cost them those games because there were.

The Utes did not shoot particularly well against the Wildcats and were turnover prone. Against the Cardinal, Utah’s shooting dried up at the end and they were outrebounded.

However, it’s also important to callout when the way games are called has left a shadow of a doubt- something that should never happen, and that is exactly what has happened twice now.

Pac-12’s Hairy History With Refereeing

Different sport, but who doesn’t remember Woodie Dixon back in 2018? Yeah…

There was also this gem from the men’s basketball side back in 2013.

Regardless of the sport, the Pac-12 does not have a great reputation when it comes to the stripes calling their games.

You can ask anyone. Literally. They’ll give you an unbelievable horror story.

To put it another way, it’s never a good thing when your brand is consistently trending on social media due to your refs. #Pac12Refs should never be a thing and yet it very much is.

It might be the one thing all 12 departing schools can agree they won’t miss in their new conference homes starting in 2024.

What Happened In The Waning Minutes Of Stanford Vs. Utah

At about the 33 second mark is where things went awry in Salt Lake City.

Stanford took a timeout with 8 seconds left on the shot clock. Out of the timeout, the Cardinal did not get the shot off in time. There is no shot clock violation and the score counts.

However, the part that really riled fans and head coach Lynne Roberts up came around the 4 second mark.

Alissa Pili had just driven to the basket and got absolutely mugged in the process.

The shot obviously didn’t go in. No foul is called that would give her a trip to the line.

Instead, the refs call it a jump ball and hand the possession back over to Stanford.

That’s pretty much all she wrote.

What Head Coach Lynne Roberts Had To Say On The Matter

Unfortunately, there is not a good system to hold those reffing games to a higher standard. Instead, fines are issued to coaches who dare to call out questionable efforts.

Utah head coach Lynne Roberts addressed the situation as best she could while toeing the line.

“I don’t think I have any power to make any changes to that,” Roberts said. “It isn’t in my control, and we talk about- you can’t control what you can’t control, so don’t focus on it. We have to be tough. I think everyone here and on TV saw what happened. You don’t need me to say it. I think for the level of play in this league- I do think it deserves to be better.”

Perhaps most concerning and telling of all is that no explanation was offered, and in fact, according to Roberts, there was complete and total avoidance on the part of the refs.

“Nope, but they reviewed last week at Arizona- the jump ball foul which was interesting,” Roberts said of how tonight was handled. “They didn’t review this one and no explanation. No eye contact in fact.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Reffing Dominates Storyline During Stanford Vs. Utah