Common sense says that you should never foul a player shooting from midcourt. But common sense doesn’t exist when you’re in a tied game with less than two seconds to play. The pressure is too great, and your mind simply shuts down.
Chasson Randle is a prime example of that, as his foul on Andre Hollins of Minnesota in the closing seconds cost Stanford he game on Saturday afternoon at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
This was a tightly-contested game throughout. The led for the majority of the first half, only to see the Golden Gophers knot things up at 32-32 at halftime.
Minnesota jumped out to an early second half lead at 47-37, but that’s when the Dwight Powell show began for Stanford:
Powell led Stanford (4-3) with 22 points, including a stretch late in the second half when he scored 10 straight. Powell tied it at 63 with two free throws with 14.8 seconds left after he was fouled as he drove to the basket.
Powell scored 18 of the Cardinal’s final 23 points in the game.
With 14.8 seconds remaining, all hell broke loose as the Gophers had a chance to win it. The Associated Press describes:
The game was tied at 63 when Minnesota went to throw the ball in from under its own basket. After an inbounds pass, the ball was tipped away by Stanford’s Dwight Powell, who saved it as he was falling out of bounds near midcourt. Hollins calmly corralled the loose ball in front of the Stanford bench and dribbled to midcourt where he launched a shot and was hit on the right arm by Stanford’s Chasson Randle.
As Randle crouched in front of his bench holding his head as teammates patted him, the officials went to the monitor to see if the foul happened after time expired. They put 0.4 seconds back on the clock and Hollins made all three free throws.
Stanford was unable to get off a shot in the final four-tenths, and the Cardinal fell in a heartbreaker, 66-63.
“It is difficult for any young man to be involved in a play like that,” said head coach Johnny Dawkins when asked about Randle’s blunder. “It is one of the most difficult plays to live with.”
Randle had another tough game, scoring 13 points but shot just 3-19 from the field, including 2-9 on three-point attempts. The unforgivable mistake he made that cost the Cardinal at least an overtime session will make things much worse.