Tennessee State Finishes Game With Only Four Players On The Court

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Southern Illinois beat Tennessee State 84-67, scoring 31 of their points at the free throw line. That many fouls was a big problem for Tennessee State. Marcus Roper fouled out with 8:36 left, Demontez Loman fouled out with 5:12 left, Xavier Richards fouled out with 2:40 left, and finally Jay Harris fouled out with 1:47 left. Tennessee State had only dressed eight players for the game, so Harris fouling out meant they had to play the final 1:47 with only four players.

In the NBA it is impossible to be reduced to fewer than five players. Instead, if a player fouls out and the team has no substitutes, the player stays in the game and his team is assessed a technical foul. The NCAA rulebook, on the other hand, explicitly allows for as few as one player to be playing:

Section 2. The Team

Art. 1. At the start of the game, each team shall consist of five players, one of whom shall be the captain.

Art. 2. Each team may continue to play with fewer than five players when all other squad members are not eligible or able to play.

Art. 3. When there is only one player participating for a team, that team shall forfeit unless the referee believes that both teams have an opportunity to win.


h/t @28andJefferson

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