The final few minutes of Saturday night’s victory for the Northwestern College women’s basketball team took a lot more than a few minutes. There were a few key moments where officials gathered around the monitor for replay review.
One involved a shot clock violation. Had the officials felt the Ozarks got the shot off, it would’ve been two points. The call was huge at the time since it was a single point margin.
There were some other reviews sprinkled in down the stretch, but none was bigger than the review that took place with one second left.
Northwestern had just turned the ball over on an unfortunate sequence where Kassidy De Jong fell to the ground and the ball went out of bounds. Originally the officials awarded College of the Ozarks with possession.
Ahead by one, with one second left, things looked pretty good for the Ozarks.
But then there was a review.
Officials reversed the call and gave Northwestern the ball. They even added a tenth of a second or two.
All of it went a long way in determining the outcome as Darbi Gustafson managed to score off an inbounds play where the ball was initially bobbled and still found the hole.
For Northwestern, the wait was well worth it.
Officials surely do not want to have a game overshadowed by a missed call. Nobody does.
Yes, they are human. And yes, human error is a part of the game.
But in this situation the remedy was right there and they used it. This is a good thing.
I’ve sat or stood along many baselines covering basketball and I can attest that there are times an official simply cannot be sure who in the world touched the ball last. And I have pretty good vision.
But if I don’t have a picture of it, there are times I’m not really sure.
The technology is available and the headache of waiting is worth making sure the right call is made.
It’s not a criticism of officials, it’s simply a belief in giving them one more tool for their job.
No system is perfect, but the review system proved to be a season-saver for Northwestern on Saturday.