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UTEP Athletics, Conference USA comments on controversial call

Plenty of people are still talking about Thursday night’s heartbreaking loss for the UTEP Miners, particularly after the surprising last-minute call.

Several fans were upset and ended up throwing trash onto the court after the game.

With 2.1 seconds left, Omega Harris sent the ball to the basket. Matt Willms tipped it in 0.1 seconds before the buzzer, giving the Miners the win.

The refs ruled the clock wasn't started on time, meaning Willms' tip came after time expired.

Old Dominion won the game 62 to 61.

CBS4 spoke with UTEP Athletics about that controversial loss. The following statements from Conference USA and UTEP's Athletics director, Bob Stull were released Friday afternoon.

Conference USA Statement

On the final possession of last night’s ODU at UTEP men’s basketball game, the clock did not start when it contacted the player in bounds. From available video and precision timing reports, we are unable to determine if this was a human or technical error.
Regardless of how the error occurred, the officials correctly utilized the replay monitor and two additional timing devices (per Rules 2.7.6, 5.4 and 11.2.1). It was determined that had the clock started when it should have, the final tip would have occurred after time expired, thereby disallowing the basket.
In addition to reviewing the video, reports and the rule book, the Conference office consulted with the NCAA National Coordinator of Officials to confirm that proper protocol for the review was followed.

Bob Stull Statement

"We are very disappointed in the outcome of last night's game. However, at this point we are moving forward and focusing all our attention on tomorrow's important matchup with Charlotte.
"The crowd was tremendous last night and we hope the fans will come back one more time tomorrow at 1 p.m. to support our team, which has made an amazing in-season turnaround and is playing for a first-round bye in next week's conference tournament."

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