WNBA statement on call in Minnesota Lynx at Phoenix Mercury game in Western Conference finals
The WNBA admits that referee Amy Bonner’s call in the last seconds of the second game in the Western finals series between the Minnesota Lynx and the Phoenix Mercury Sunday afternoon was erroneous.
Renee Brown, WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations, issued the following statement today regarding the foul call with 1.5 seconds to play in the fourth quarter of the Minnesota Lynx’s 72-71 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday at Talking Stick Resort Arena:
“With 5.4 seconds on the game clock and the game tied at 71-71, Minnesota’s Maya Moore deflected and stole a pass from Phoenix’s Noelle Quinn. Quinn was immediately called for a reach-in foul for contact on Moore. After reviewing postgame video and interviewing last night’s game officials, we have determined a foul should not have been called on Quinn for contact on Moore while Moore was attempting to advance the ball.”
After the foul, Moore made a free throw that sealed the game for Minnesota. With the win, the Lynx advanced to the WNBA Finals, completing a three-game conference finals sweep of the Mercury. Phoenix head coach Sandy Brondello was not happy with the call and expressed her disappointment in her postgame comments.
“I disagree with the call at the end. Number one, it wasn’t a foul, so to make that big play, let the two best teams decide with the extra five minutes who wins the game. Obviously, we’re disappointed in our locker room at the moment. I’m very proud of the team, the first game we didn’t bring our best game, but tonight we did. Maya is a special player, she went for 40 but we kept everyone else quiet and we gave ourselves a chance to win. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t get another five minutes to see who would win that.”
Several Mercury players also expressed displeasure at how the game ended.
“After watching the replay several times, I think you guys have seen it as well—it’s a tough situation to be in, it’s tough to end the series on a call 70 feet away from the basket,” said Mercury guard Monique Currie. “I didn’t see a foul, I don’t know if some other people saw one, but I didn’t.”
Forward DeWanna Bonner complimented Quinn’s defensive’s skills.
“She made a good defensive play but I honestly don’t think that that was a foul at the end there—it’s kind of tough to end your season off of that,” said Bonner. “We can’t really define our season off of that. We had one great season for my teammates. We’ve been through so much, nobody expected us to be here, so to lose off of that play, I mean it hurts but we’ll take it.”