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Atlantic 10 disciplines officiating crew for clock error at end of La Salle’s loss at St. Bonaventure

Video replay showed that the clock started too soon on the Explorers' last possession.

Head Coach Ashley Howard of La Salle questions an official's call during their game against Saint Joseph's on Feb 5, 2019.
Head Coach Ashley Howard of La Salle questions an official's call during their game against Saint Joseph's on Feb 5, 2019.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

The Atlantic 10 Conference acknowledged Monday that the officiating crew at St. Bonaventure started the game clock too soon at the end of the Bonnies’ 62-60 victory over La Salle last Wednesday.

A video replay showed that the clock started too quickly in La Salle’s final possession. The A-10 took disciplinary action against the officials.

“The Atlantic 10 Conference coordinator of men’s basketball officials has confirmed that there was a misapplication of the rules related to the timing error at the end of the La Salle-St. Bonaventure game," the A-10 said in a statement. "The conference office, in conjunction with the coordinator of officials, has taken appropriate disciplinary action with the officiating crew.”

When asked by the Inquirer what disciplinary action was taken, A-10 spokesman Drew Dickerson said, “We don’t release that.”

La Salle inbounded the ball from under its basket Wednesday with 3.1 seconds remaining. The clock started running as David Beatty was making the inbounds pass, which went three-quarters of the court to teammate Ed Croswell.

The clock should have started when Croswell touched the ball, but when he did, only 1.1 seconds remained. The ball was tipped to La Salle’s Pookie Powell in the right corner. Powell heard the buzzer and heaved a wild shot that missed and wouldn’t have counted anyway.

La Salle athletic director Bill Bradshaw said three errors were made on the final play. The first two are obvious: The clock should not have started and one of the officials should have monitored it and noticed the mistake.

The third mistake, Bradshaw said, was failing to interpret the rule correctly after the first two errors. “They should have put the time back on the clock that was lost by the timekeeper mistake and had us inbound the ball from in front of our bench,” Bradshaw said in a telephone interview.

When asked if there was an apology from the Atlantic 10, Bradshaw said, “Yes, there was an apology for sure.”

La Salle is 8-18 and tied for eighth in the A-10 with a 6-8 mark. St. Bonaventure is 13-14, 9-5.

La Salle is looking to earn a bye in the first round, of the 14-team A-10 tournament, which starts March 13 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The top 10 teams earn an opening bye.