Duquesne, a 5.5-point underdog, played a back-and-forth game with Penn State last night. The Dukes led by seven at halftime, and they tied it on a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left.
That’s when the mayhem started. Penn State’s Lamar Stevens drove the length of the court and crashed into Duquesne’s Michael Hughes. The refs called a foul on Hughes even though he appeared to hold his position. Eh, it was close. Possibly a block. Probably a charge. Depends how the refs had been calling the game. Keith Dambort did not like the foul, and he let the referees know it.
Dambrot erupted at the referee’s call, screaming from his spot on the court. He got even more heated when the refs issued him a technical foul, much to the announcers’ dismay. Players had to hold Dambrot back from arguing over the call as he deemed the call “bullshit!” His tie became comically askew.
And Penn State, which had missed six free throws in the last 10 minutes of the game, made all six of its attempts from the line. They won, 73-67. That’s right: Penn State covered the spread due to this. (Some lines may have pushed; the game opened at Penn State -6.)
“It was a cumulative effect,” Dambrot told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette postgame. “There were three block/charge calls and we didn’t get any of them… I thought at that point, though, the technical foul was a little quick. How does he think I’m going to react when three bang-bangs went against us? So come over say ‘You’ve got to calm down or I’m going to T you.’ You just can’t do that. That’s just disrespectful. They’re not doing that to Coach K.”
Of course, the final seconds could’ve been moot if Duquesne simply shot better than 4-for-20 from the floor in the second half.