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FSU-Duke crew suspended
The ACC benches the refs a game each over a technical that cost the Seminoles a key player.
By BRIAN LANDMAN
Published February 7, 2006
ACC officials Mike Eades, Ed Corbett and Ray Natili, the crew who worked Saturday's Florida State-Duke game, were suspended by the league for a game-changing technical foul on FSU's Alexander Johnson.
"Because of the incorrect assessment and handling of the dead-ball technical foul situation, the officials that worked the contest will each be suspended for their next game," ACC coordinator of men's basketball officials John Clougherty said in a statement Monday.
The play began when Johnson knocked Duke forward Shelden Williams to the floor to prevent an easy layup with 9:23 left. Eades called an intentional foul, but Williams jumped up and confronted Johnson, who appeared from television replays to be backing away. Eades, however, called a double technical, Johnson's fifth foul. He left with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Without the 6-9, 240-pound Johnson in the low post, Williams scored 15 of his 27 as the Blue Devils eked out a 97-96 win in overtime that could have significantly bolstered FSU's resume for NCAA Tournament at-large consideration.
"Any comments that I make in relation to the technical foul, and the impact that it did or did not have on the game, I think would be seen as (taking) away from how outstanding I think Duke's players played," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "They made tough shots. They made the plays they had to make to win the game. We had equal opportunities, and we didn't come away with the points. We didn't get the stops that were necessary during the critical parts of the game, and we had maybe even some better looks than what they had; they knocked theirs down and we didn't."
The Seminoles were called for 28 fouls and Duke 15. The Blue Devils had 43 free throws, hitting 31. FSU was 10-of-11 from the line. FSU also didn't get a call in the waning seconds of overtime when guard Todd Galloway drove for the tying basket and Williams stopped him.
Meanwhile, junior forward Al Thornton, who matched his career high with 37 points to go with a career-best 15 rebounds against Duke and scored 15 in a win against Clemson on Wednesday, was named ACC co-player of the week with Boston College's Jared Dudley.