In a highly competitive matchup between Norfolk State and Howard, the Bison came away with an 86-84 win handing the Spartans its first conference loss of the season.
Howard showed great resilience overcoming a 16-point deficit to escape with the victory.
However, the result of the game has been marred by controversy with many believing the referees influenced the outcome of the game in its waning moments.
With 1.2 seconds left in the game, Spartans guard Joe Bryant made a layup to give his team an 84-83 lead. This excited Norfolk State bench left the bench area celebrating the bucket.
As a result, Norfolk State was called for a technical foul for excessive celebration leading to Howard being awarded two free throws which were both made by Elijah Hawkins.
Now down by one point, the Spartans were forced to intentionally foul. Howard’s Jelani Williams made the first free throw then missed the second preventing Norfolk State from the chance to get a miracle shot up and secured the win.
Norfolk State head coach Robert Jones was not happy with this late-game call and took to Twitter to express his displeasure with the decision.
“In my 22 years of coaching I will have never said the officials decided a game,” said Jones. “But if you live long enough you will experience everything. It happened tonight! If you were at the game or watched, you know what I’m talking about! Note taken!”