Little Rock and Louisiana were heading towards a photo finish when the lights at the Cajundome went out during the possession that decided the game.
Lights out can mean a lot of things on a basketball court. Lineups are introduced after the lights go out. Someone can shoot “lights out.” But Little Rock and Louisiana introduced a new scenario for the term on Friday night.
The lights literally went out during the most important possession of the game.
Louisiana led by two points when Little Rock collected the ball with 14 seconds left. The chance to tie or win the game was interrupted by flickering lights.
So this is one way to end a college basketball game…pic.twitter.com/GAnqd0ADYV
— Heat Check CBB (@HeatCheckCBB) January 9, 2021
To their credit, players on both sides stayed kept going despite the outage, even if there was some confusion at first. Little Rock’s Markquis Nowell dished the ball to Ruot Monyyong who lofted a three-ball in an attempt to win it right there. The shot didn’t go through and the game was over.
Should the refs have stopped Little Rock and Louisiana before the shot?
The big question here is why the officials didn’t immediately stop the game. Sure, the lights came back on, but there’s no way the play was unaffected by the outage.
Monyyong had only attempted one three-point shot this season. He’s not exactly the guy you’d draw up to take the shot. Guard Ben Coupet Jr. was also at the top of the arc. He is shooting 51.5 from distance this season and probably would have been the preferred shooter.
Either way, Louisiana came away 66-64 winners, improving their record to 8-2. Little Rock dropped to 6-4.
It’s rare enough to see arena lights go out. It’s unlikely we’ll see another instance of the lights picking such a critical moment to dim any time soon.
Let’s just call it January Madness.