WASHINGTON DC -- For the second straight game, the VCU Rams appeared to have lost on a last second, game-winning three pointer. And for the second straight game, they prevailed with 0.4 seconds left to play.
Against St. Bonaventure, they were the beneficiaries of an administrative technical foul that allowed JeQuan Lewis to hit a free throw that sent the game to overtime. Against George Washington, it was a designed play rarely seen and rarely executed properly.
Yuta Watanabe's shot went through with 0.4 seconds remaining, giving VCU one last possession. On their in bounds play, Lewis set a screen on GW forward Collin Goss, who was called for a foul when he knocked Lewis down. Lewis hit the subsequent free throws giving the Rams a one point lead, and the Colonials could not pull off the same magic.
The play is called a "hole-in-one" by VCU head coach Will Wade and it's run every day in practice.
“That’s the whole point of having him (Lewis) there,” Wade said. “If they run him over you hope they call it".
"Coach Wade is a whiz" said Lewis. "He’s got plays for days.”
A replay appeared to show that Lewis had one foot out of bounds when he made contact with Goss. According to Jerry Stone, who has served as a basketball official at both the collegiate and high school level for over 4 decades in Central Virginia, that doesn't matter.
"If it's a lateral screen, time and distance aren't a factor" said Stone. "You can be as close to that defender as you can be as long as you aren't touching him. JeQuan had two feet on the floor. There's no reference in the (rule) book that says they have to be in bounds. All he had to do was be in that legal position prior to that player running into him, and he was."
"The defensive player made contact and ran through the screen. Foul on the defender."
CBS 6 has reached out to the Atlantic 10 for their own clarification of the rule and the call made, and has not yet heard back from A10 officials. Wade, for one, would rather not have games end like this, even though his team has pulled out two victories in games they might normally have lost.
“We’ve got to quit putting ourselves in these situations,” Wade said. “There’s only so many rabbit’s feet and horseshoes and all that good stuff.”