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GALLERY: Valpo stuns NKU in controversial finish

Matt Sexton, Sports Editor

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Rebecca Lyttle (3) had 22 points and 7 rebounds in NKU's 61-60 loss to Valparaiso.

The first Horizon League game in the history of NKU women’s basketball ended with controversy and a 61-60 Valparaiso victory.

Rebecca Lyttle missed a shot at the buzzer which would have won the game, but what happened in the seconds prior left people scratching their heads after the game.

Valparaiso inbounded the ball with 3.5 seconds remaining. Jessi Wiedemann inbounded the ball from half court, but her throw was errant.

Rianna Gayheart was the first to the ball. Before she controlled the ball, a foul was called as the horn sounded.

The officials convened and then went to the monitor. After checking the play, they called the coaches to half court. At this point, according to NKU Head Coach Dawn Plitzuweit and the television replay, the officials told the coaches that Gayheart would shoot two free throws.

“We were told we had free throws with 1.2 seconds, yes we were,” Plitzuweit said. “So then the coach talked them out of that. Pretty successful talking out of that.”

Following the conference, the officials went back to the monitor. After further reviews, they deemed the foul a team-control foul, meaning the Norse would get possession but no free throws.

They also decided there should be 1.2 seconds remaining on the clock due to the clock starting early on the inbounds pass.

“The explanation I was given was that it was a loose-ball foul,” Plitzuweit said. “So it’s like a player-control foul. I’d have to go back and research that and see what all that exactly entails.”

The Northerner reached out to the Horizon League Assistant Commissioner for Messaging and Media Bill Potter, who said they had been in contact with their official coordinator, and would notify The Northerner if there needed to be a statement or comment on the call.

A quick look through the rule book shows in Rule 10, Section 1, Article 17 Penalties, no free throws are shot during three situations: a common foul before the bonus rule takes effect, a player-control foul or a team-control foul.

However, the rule book says in Rule 4, Section 10, Article 2, letter e, that a team is not in control of the ball during a dead ball.

It seemed as if none of the three situations for a non-shooting foul would apply, according to the NCAA rules. It was unlike anything the veteran Norse coach had seen before.

“Absolutely not,” Plitzuweit said. “We’ve come back and won games in those scenarios, but never seen a call reversed like that with 1.2 seconds left. No, I’ve never seen that before.”

NKU still had a chance to win the game. The inbounds pass was lobbed by Gayheart to Rebecca Lyttle under the basket, but her shot missed as the horn sounded, securing the Valparaiso victory.

“I thought our kids executed very well,” Plitzuweit said. “I thought we got a lot of really good shots down the stretch.”

Lyttle led NKU with 22 points and 7 rebounds.

“I thought Becca played great,” Plitzuweit said. “It’s tough for the kid to miss that opportunity (at the end), but you know what, she certainly helped us in so many other ways, and really played very well and very hard.”

Christine Roush added 15 points and 7 rebounds.

Meredith Hamlet nearly had a perfect night. She was 10 of 11 from the floor, 5 of 6 from three-point range and 4 of 5 from the line. She finished with 29 points.

“We turned them over but we didn’t really stop them,” Plitzuweit said. “We weren’t disciplined defensively during a majority of that first half. In the second half we made some adjustments, but when we didn’t quite follow through on an assignment they made us pay.”

Northern Kentucky has little time to reflect on the outcome. NKU hosts Illinois-Chicago 7 p.m. Friday to ring in 2016.

“We play a very good UIC team,” Plitzuweit. “It’s great for our kids to have an opportunity to bounce back and get better and go after this.”

Summary

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015

@ BB&T Arena, Highland Heights, Kentucky

Valparaiso 61, Northern Kentucky 60

V – 15 – 19 – 16 – 11 — 61
N – 14 – 13 – 22 – 11 — 60

(61) VALPARAISO (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Walker 3-1-1-8, Lindfors 1-0-0-2, Hamlet 10-5-4-29, Dean 3-0-0-6, Franklin 4-2-0-10, Thompson 3-0-0-6. TOTALS 24-8-5-61.

(60) NORTHERN KENTUCKY (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Lyttle 7-1-7-22, Uetrecht 2-0-4-8, Glick 2-0-1-5, Ch. Roush 6-1-2-15, Wiegman 0-0-2-2, Co. Roush 1-0-2-4, Franson 2-0-0-4. TOTALS 20-2-18-60.

FIELD GOALS: V 24/45 (Hamlet 10/11, Franklin 4/8, Walker 3/7, Dean 3/7, Thompson 3/4); N 20/55 (Lyttle 7/14, Ch. Roush 6/12)

3 POINT FIELD GOALS: V 8/18 (Hamlet 5/6, Franklin 2/3); N 2/14

FREE THROWS: V 5/7 (Hamlet 4/5); N 18/24 (Lyttle 7/9, Uetrecht 4/6)

REBOUNDS: V 34 (Walker 10, Franklin 8, Schaub 4); N 25 (Lyttle 7, Ch. Roush 7)

ASSISTS: V 15 (Dean 5, Schaub 4, Miller 3); N 12 (Ch. Roush 4, Gayheart 4)

STEALS: V 7 (Walker 5); N 9 (Lyttle 2, Uetrecht 2, Glick 2)

BLOCKED SHOTS: V 4 (Thompson 2); N 3

TURNOVERS: V 23; N 10

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GALLERY: Valpo stuns NKU in controversial finish