With five seconds remaining in regulation Tuesday night, it appeared Connecticut would win the first Big East Conference game of coach Kevin Ollie's career.
Sophomore guard Ryan Boatright (16 points), racing against the shot clock and almost losing control of the ball, gathered himself and scored with five seconds left to give UConn a three-point lead. But Marquette's Junior Cadougan beat the buzzer with a three-pointer to tie the game at 69 and the Golden Eagles went on to an 82-76 overtime victory in Milwaukee.
Cadougan's three was the first of the night for the Golden Eagles (10-3, 1-0 Big East), who had missed their first 14 attempts from that distance.
There was controversy at the start of overtime when the teams lined up going the wrong direction. It appeared UConn would get the first basket on a goaltending call on Jamil Wilson but instead the play was ruled a turnover on UConn and Cadougan gave Marquette the first OT lead on a jumper with 4:17 to play.
The officials huddled but later admitted they made the wrong call. Big East official Karl Hess issued this statement:
“Based on rule five, section one, article three, when the official permits a team to go in the wrong direction, and then the error is discovered, all activity and time consumed shall count as though each team had gone in the proper direction. Play is then resumed with each team going in the proper direction.
“The players went in the wrong direction (tonight). Because we allowed that to happen, the only thing that was wrong is there was a goaltend on the play. We should have scored the goaltend and given Connecticut two points for that.
“You have no team control after that, because you have a shot, so now you go to the alternating possession arrow. Because there is no team control at that point and then Marquette gets the ball and you head them all in the right direction.”
The Huskies (10-3, 0-1) had trailed by 10 points with 11:03 remaining in regulation but went on a 13-3 run to tie the game at 57 on a three-point basket by Shabazz Napier with 7:26 left. Napier tied a career high with 29 points. UConn then took a 58-57 lead on a foul shot by Tyler Olander 6:46 to go.
There were eight ties in the game before Boatright gave UConn a 67-66 lead on a jumper with 3:36 left. That's why his shot with five second left seemed to be so big as it gave the Huskies a three-point lead.
Rebounding figures to be a huge problem for UConn in the Big East and the Huskies were beaten on the boards 41-31. Five steals and tremendous defense in the final 10 minutes of regulation almost overcame that. Marquette's bench outscored UConn's 41-11 for another big advantage.
Find the Associated Press story and game box score here.