ATHENS — Two days later, Mark Fox still had more to say about the crazy ending to his Georgia team’s loss at Texas A&M.
It was unclear what exactly prompted it, but Georgia’s head coach released a statement Monday afternoon, just over 48 hours after his team’s 63-62 loss at Texas A&M, when a clock malfunction occurred during Georgia’s final possession.
The full statement:
“In this instance, please understand there is no way for me to appease all parties. I realize our fans and, most importantly, our players are frustrated. But out of respect to the SEC, I hope to address the closure of the game at Texas A&M.
“The SEC acknowledged a timing system malfunction and the mistake of not recognizing it. We fully understand NCAA rules were appropriately administered after the mistake occurred. It was unfortunate that when J.J. Frazier looked at the game clock, he saw time that evidently did not exist. It was unfortunate that our players were not able to determine the ultimate outcome of the game and play until the clock hit zero.
“The ultimate goal is fairness, which I believe everyone is striving to achieve.
“Any further questions regarding the game should be directed to the SEC.”
On Saturday afternoon, Fox thought his star forward Yante Maten was about to attempt two free throws, which if made would put Georgia ahead by one. Instead, officials ended the game after ruling time had run out on Georgia on the final possession, with the game clock malfunctioning and stopping with 5.6 seconds left.
The SEC later that night said officials had made the right decision by rule to end the game, but had “failed” because they didn’t see the clock stop, and didn’t stop the game.
Georgia was up nine with less than two minutes to go in the game, but committed a series of turnovers on inbounds plays, and Texas A&M took the lead. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs thought they had a chance to win anyway, but then the crazy ending occurred.
It could prove a very costly loss for Georgia (12-7 overall, 4-3 SEC), as it chases a bid for the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs are 45th in Monday’s official RPI rankings.