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Wednesday, June 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Area sports

Idaho women defeat Eastern Washington when officials reverse call

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 20, 2019, 12:23 p.m.

Idaho players celebrate their controversial 75-74 win over Eastern Washington during a women’s college basketball game on Reese Court, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, in Cheney. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Idaho players celebrate their controversial 75-74 win over Eastern Washington during a women’s college basketball game on Reese Court, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, in Cheney. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

When Mikayla Ferenz banked in the game-winning bucket Monday at Reese Court, Idaho’s record-breaking guard smacked her hands together in frustration.

She thought it didn’t count.

The final horn sounded just before Ferenz caught the ball on the left wing and fired the 3-pointer, evoking celebration on Eastern Washington’s bench.

A referee near Idaho’s bench even waved off the basket.

“I didn’t think I got it off,” said Ferenz, whose team trailed 74-72 when the clock hit zeroes. “I guess it didn’t feel like it, but you never know.

“Then the refs were talking about it for a while, so I thought maybe there was a chance.”

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After spending about seven minutes reviewing video of the game’s final 1.6 seconds – the remaining time Idaho had to score after inbounding the ball under EWU’s basket – officials ruled that the clock started too early, giving Idaho less time to get the shot off.

They ruled Ferenz’s shot counted, giving Idaho a 75-74 win in Cheney in front of a shell-shocked crowd of 1,600.

EWU head coach Wendy Schuller appeared to be in disbelief.

“I thought the call would stay in our favor because, timing-wise, it didn’t seem like enough time to get an inbound pass and then to catch it, turn and shoot, but it was,” Schuller said. “Idaho deserves a ton of credit, it was great execution and a great shot.”

Moments before the controversial finish, EWU freshman and former Sandpoint standout Grace Kirscher appeared to be the hero.

Kirscher, who had a team-high 19 points, scored inside with 1.6 seconds left, a possession set up by Violet Kapri Morrow’s steal.

After a timeout, Idaho guard Gina Marxen fired an inbounds pass about 60 feet to Lizzy Klinker, who immediately found a wide open Ferenz, Idaho’s all-time leading scorer.

“It was a roller coaster of emotion,” said Ferenz, who had a game-high 29 points.

Kirscher agreed.

“I never once thought (Ferenz’s shot) was going to count” Kirscher said.

EWU guard Uriah Howard’s 3-pointer with 11 seconds left tied the game at 72.

First-place Idaho (14-9, 11-4 Big Sky) defeated EWU (7-16, 6-8) 84-68 in Moscow last month.

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