DiJonai Carrington was first punched in the elbow and then again in the face before falling hard to the ground with Baylor down a second with a second to go into the River Walk area final against seeded UConn .
Carrington’s shot came well shortly after contact with two defenders. But no free throw was to come, as no foul was called against the Huskies, who advanced to their 13th straight NCAA Women’s Final with a 69-67 victory.
“Personally, I don’t see it as a controversial appeal,” said Carrington, when asked about the no-appeal. “I saw the replay, and a girl fouled my face and a girl fouled my arm. So at this point there is nothing else you can do.
It was a very physical game with 30 combined faults whistled and many more unwhistled, including the one at the end.
UConn (28-1) added a free kick in the final second after Baylor (28-3), the champion of the last NCAA tournament played two years ago, fouled. Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey later said she still had shots and videos from two different angles showing the multiple fouls against Carrington, defended by Aaliyah Edwards and Olivia Nelson-Ododa.
When asked for an explanation from the referees, the NCAA said the question was beyond what the officials were talking about. While the referees did not speak, the others did.
Even LeBron James agreed with Carrington and Mulkey. “Come on man !!! It was a CROWD !! James tweeted.
Former Connecticut All-American Swin Cash agreed with James that his former team escaped with a tweet: “I love my Huskies but yeah they missed that foul… phew kid,” she said.
The lack of a whistle on the coin was what everyone wanted to talk about. Although there was no explanation from the referees.
Carrington also took to Twitter to further express his frustration, with a post that read, “You can’t swallow your whistle when gambling is on the line.”
After Carrington made two free throws with 19 seconds left to get Baylor in 68-67, Christyn Williams missed two free throws for UConn before Lady Bears took the time out. They staged a final game with two options, the first being US striker NaLyssa Smith and then Carrington, who finished with 22 points.
“[NaLyssa] I was the victim of a post fault and I was the victim of a misconduct, ”Carrington said. “Nothing that we couldn’t really cope with in this particular situation. But, you know, turn the page. “
When Mulkey was asked about the no-appeal, and a reporter then said she was surprised there was no foul, the coach replied, “So write it like that. You don’t need a quote from me. “
UConn coach Geno Auriemma said everyone has to live with officials calling or not calling.
“In the end, the officials did what they were going to do. And if they said it was a foul I would be on the other side, you can’t make that call and make that call a foul, ”Auriemma said. “So that’s what it is. I’m not going to sit here and apologize. And if people want to talk about it the rest of the week; you are welcome to do so. It will not change the result.