Mea culpa: Big Ten tells Rutgers that Ohio State's winning shot should not have counted

The Big Ten Conference has acknowledged the errors of officials Larry Scirotto, Kipp Kissinger and Roger Ayers at the end of Rutgers basketball’s 67-66 loss at No. 23 Ohio State Thursday.

“I spoke to the Big Ten offices and they acknowledged that mistakes were made," Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said via phone late Friday afternoon. "We're going to move forward to Seton Hall now.”

With the Scarlet Knights up two points and under five seconds remaining, Rutgers guard Caleb McConnell forced Ohio State ball-handler Bruce Thornton to the sidelines at midcourt before reserve guard Tanner Holden took a desperation flip pass and buried a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.

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Ohio State Buckeyes guard Tanner Holden (0) celebrates after making the game winning three-point shot as time ran out against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Value City Arena.
Ohio State Buckeyes guard Tanner Holden (0) celebrates after making the game winning three-point shot as time ran out against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Value City Arena.

Photos later showed Thornton stepped on the out-of-bounds line when McConnell had him pinned, and replays showed Holden was standing out of bounds and failed to reestablish himself on the court before receiving Thornton's pass.

In his postgame press conference, Pikiell said he was certain he saw Thornton step on the sideline – he was sanding right there at the time – but said he hadn’t seen a replay and didn’t receive an explanation for the no-call even though he tried to point it out to the officials. In the presser he called the endgame turn of events “disappointing” and “a tough way to lose.”

The loss dropped Rutgers to 6-3 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten in advance of Sunday’s rivalry game against Seton Hall at Jersey Mike’s Arena.

Jerry Carino has covered the New Jersey sports scene since 1996 and the college basketball beat since 2003. He is an Associated Press Top 25 voter. Contact him at jcarino@gannettnj.com.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Big Ten: Ohio State's winning shot vs. Rutgers should not have counted