The last possession of the game during Friday’s matchup between Little Rock and Louisiana was already exciting. Then the lights went out. There have without a doubt been some strange endings to basketball games before, but it’s not very often you see one where the home team’s arena operations are to blame.
The game between Little Rock and Louisiana-Lafayette ended with Louisiana in possession of the ball. They were down 66-64 and with just 14 seconds remaining in the contest. Little Rock guard Markquis Nowell took the ball up the court and prepared for a final play in search of a basket that would either tie the game or put them ahead. As the seconds ticked away, with five seconds left, forward Ruot Monyyong came up to set a pick when the lights in the arena suddenly went out.
They came back after a couple of seconds of darkness, and both teams somehow played on. The game ended with Monyyong having to attempt a frantic 3-pointer well behind the line at the buzzer. So while both teams played on, it seems like the Trojans were at least a little distracted, unable to get the shot they were hoping for on offense.
We’ve obviously seen a few blackouts during sporting events before, most notably the Super Bowl. The thing is, you don’t usually see athletes play through them. Somehow, in this scenario, they did just that. The lights flickered back on again almost immediately, and both teams kept playing through it.
That alone makes it one of the more weird endings you’ll ever see to a college basketball game. Seeing it happen, especially at the most pivotal moment of a game, was pretty crazy.
The lights then went off once again after the final buzzer. Have a look at the crazy sequence below:
Should Refs Have Stopped Little Rock and Louisiana Before the Shot?
College basketball fans and members of the media are questioning why the officials didn’t immediately stop the game after the lighting malfunction. The lights came back on, of course, but as we mentioned above, the final play was clearly affected by the outage.
Prior to the frantic las-second shot, Monyyong had only attempted one three-point shot this season. It’s highly unlikely Little Rock drew up a play for him to take the last shot. Trojan Guard Ben Coupet Jr. was also at the top of key at the three-point line. He’s shooting better than 51 percent from distance this season and probably would have been the preferred guy taking the last shot.
Either way, Little Rock fell and Louisiana came away 66-64 winners. They improved their record to 8-2 while the Trojans dropped to 6-4, though you can imagine they might view this particular loss with an asterisk next to it.
It’s hard to remember the last time the lights randomly went out in a game like that. And it’s extremely unlikely we’ll ever see another instance of them going out in the most critical moment of a game any time soon.
January madness, anyone?