Of course I felt I got pushed in the back, but at the end of the day when time's expiring like that, no one's going to make that call. —Donnie Tillman
TUCSON, Ariz. — They weren’t making a big deal out of it, but the Utah basketball players and coaches may have had reason to complain after no foul was called on Arizona defender Emmanuel Akot against Utah’s Donnie Tillman with under four seconds left in Saturday’s 74-73 loss at McKale Center.
Tillman was definitely shoved under the basket after receiving the inbounds pass, so much that his shot attempt had no chance of coming close to the hoop as it flew in the air and didn’t draw iron. But the Utes didn’t expect to get a call in the final seconds against a nationally ranked program such as Arizona on its home floor.
“Of course I felt I got pushed in the back, but at the end of the day when time’s expiring like that, no one’s going to make that call,” Tillman said. “We made a good read, it was an easier play, but I didn’t convert. So, next time, right?”
Coach Larry Krystkowiak was measured in his words afterward, saying, “I’m not going to tell you anything that’s going to sell newspapers right now.”
The closest he came was when he started to describe what the Utes were doing on the final play and said, “It was one of two things. If they were below him, Donnie was going to yeah, we got the look. We got the look; we got the foul.”
As far as Arizona coach Sean Miller and Arizona fans at the McKale Center were concerned, it was about time the Wildcats got a break. The crowd was up in arms about several calls during the game as the Utes went to the free throw line 21 times, making 18, while Arizona was just 6 of 11. Utah had just 15 fouls compared to Arizona’s 22.
RISTIC COMES UP BIG: The Utah scouting report certainly didn’t have anything about keeping Dusan Ristic from shooting 3-pointers. Going into Saturday’s game, the 7-footer from Serbia hadn’t made a 3-pointer all season and was 0 for 5 from long range.
However, he was the Wildcats’ leading 3-point shooter on the night, making all three of his attempts, including a huge one with 1:40 left that put his team up 72-68.
“It’s not on the scouting report that we have to worry about him from three, but it’s an example of playing in this conference with a lot of great players,” Krystkowiak said. “Great players step up and all the credit goes to him. It wasn’t a breakdown on our part. That was an example of Ristic stepping up and making some plays and led them to a victory. He was really good.”
UTE NOTES: The Utes took time out Friday night to cheer on the Ute gymnastics team, which took a 197.55-196.325 victory over Arizona at McKale Center While Arizona shot a season-high 64.4 percent from the field, Utah shot just 44.4 percent The Utes only had eight turnovers on the day, compared to 15 for Arizona The Utes fell to 29-33 all-time against Arizona and have lost 12 of 13 to the Wildcats since joining the Pac-12 in 2011 The last Ute win here was on Dec. 6, 1986, when the late Lynn Archibald was the coach The Wildcats are 68-2 over the last four years at McKale Center.