A very questionable call by an official with under two minutes to go in the basketball game helped 21st ranked Xavier to a 59-56 win over Missouri State.
The Bears had rallies to tie the game at 56 when Keandre Cook stole the ball, giving Missouri State a chance to take the lead. Cook came down the floor and worked for a shot from the left corner where an Xavier player made contact with him, knocking him off balance in the air, and Cook fell to the floor for an obvious foul by Xavier.
Instead, officials reviewed the play and decided to call a “flop” on Cook, implying that Cook pretended to be fouled despite video evidence showing the Xavier player made contact with Cook, which met the NCAA’s rules for a foul.
The action by the officials meant a technical foul was called on Cook, giving Xavier a free throw which was converted by Xavier’s Naji Marshall for a 57-56 lead. Xavier was also given possession of the ball, which they also converted into a basket for a 59-56 lead they were able to secure for the win.
The questionable call was not the only strange act of officiating the went against the visiting Bears Friday night; a technical foul call on Gaige Prim around the nine minute mark of the first half also drew questions from those watching the game.
The Bears fall to 2-2. Lamont West and Cook had 13 points each to lead the Bears, Tyrik Dixon added 12.
The Bears play next on Thursday at the Charleston Classic in South Carolina against Miami (Fla.).