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Kentucky lost to a technical foul and a buzzer-beat at Texas A&M

Troy Taormina | USA Today

Troy Taormina | USA Today

Troy Taormina | USA Today

Losing always hurts, but it can be especially painful when it comes on a buzzer-beater or at the hands of an official. For Kentucky, both of those things happened in Saturday night’s defeat in College Station.

What was an exciting game for 44 minutes and 51 seconds took a bizarre turn when referee Pat Adams chose to call a technical foul on Isaac Humphries for celebrating with a heat-of-the-moment ball spike. Had Adams let the harmless spike go without penalty, Humphries is going to the line with a chance to extend Kentucky’s lead to three.

Adams did call the technical, though, leading to a tie game and a final possession for A&M to win. The Aggies capitalized on the good fortune, winning the game by two on a buzzer-beating putback basket.


The story of the game is Humphries’ technical foul, unfortunately.

Isaac Humphries played his best game yet and he did it when Kentucky needed him the most. The freshman big man was forced into action with Alex Poythress out, Marcus Lee in foul trouble and Derek Willis in the locker room with a twisted ankle, and he was outstanding in his increased role in the frontcourt.

Humphries finished with a career-high 12 rebounds and he hit two very clutch free throws to give Kentucky a lead with under two minutes to go in overtime. It really is a shame his performance is being overlooked by the costly ball-spike that landed him a technical foul with nine seconds remaining, which opened the door for A&M to steal the victory.

Humphries tweeted, “I will learn from this.”

Poor kid must be heartbroken right now for costing his team the game.

Let’s not ignore the fact Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere got torched on the final play.

First, Murray lost Danuel House on the inbounds, allowing House to drive directly into the lane for a decent look at a game-winner.

House’s shot didn’t fall, and A&M’s Tyler Davis cleared Skal Labissiere out of the way for the putback.

Very disappointing effort from those two on the final play.

Murray and Tyler Ulis combined for 43 points.

Aside from Murray’s defensive blunder, he played a pretty good game. He had 21 points on 6-of-16 shooting for his sixth consecutive game with at least 20 points.

Tyler Ulis was the Cats’ leading scorer with 22 points and 11 assists.

Those two did enough to keep Kentucky in it when it appeared A&M could pull away.

ESPN’s Seth Greenberg did not agree with the technical foul call.

The Twitter consensus seems to be Pat Adams should’ve let Humphries’ spike slide.

Derek Willis’ sprained ankle is worrisome.

Willis rolled his right ankle in the second half of the game and his status unclear, though Cal said he thinks it’s a really bad sprain. Willis has become a vital piece of this team and Kentucky could be in big trouble if he’s unable to return soon.

Please, please, please, please get well soon.

Why is Isaiah Briscoe taking so many jump shots?

I’ll have to go back to the tape to see just how many times Briscoe threw up an ill-advised shot, but I can remember about a handful of them that clanked off the iron.

Briscoe does several things very well; however, shooting the ball is not one of them.

Kentucky got abused on the glass.

Texas A&M out-rebounded UK throughout the entire game, and if not for Humphries, the finally tally would’ve been much worse than 41-36.

The Cats gave up 20 — TWENTY! — offensive rebounds, by far the most allowed in any game this season. The Aggies turned those boards into 22 second chance points and it’s tough to win giving up that many second looks to anyone.

The loss isn’t the end of the world, but it creates a tight race for the SEC.

Kentucky is still atop the SEC standings, but A&M is only one game behind and now holds the tiebreaker between the two teams.

The Aggies’ remaining schedule is a fairly easy one with home games against Mississippi State and Vanderbilt and trips to Missouri and Auburn. That’s the three worst teams in the conference and a struggling Vandy team coming in on Senior Day in the regular season finale.

Kentucky controls its own destiny in its final four games. However, if the Cats slip up anywhere along the way, A&M can steal the regular season trophy by winning out.

All things considered, Kentucky is still a team that can make some noise in March.

In the wise words of Coach Cal, “I like my team.”

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

51 Comments for Kentucky lost to a technical foul and a buzzer-beat at Texas A&M

  1. kyfaninlex
    11:14 pm February 20, 2016 Permalink

    “I will learn from this”

    I don’t understand…what’s to learn? Don’t slam the ball down. Seems to me that lesson would have been learned after Briscoe got slapped with a similar technical a week ago. Briscoe’s ultimately didn’t cost the team. This one did. How many ball-related technicals are we going to get slapped with before it finally sinks in?

    • Big Meech
      11:26 pm February 20, 2016 Permalink

      Ok so in the first half 16 off reb but how about the fight in this team. I love it. Do u guys not see it bc we didn’t have lee,Willis and AP for a good stretch. We played but execution wasn’t the greatest but we are doing why we need to do. Got the best back court and our bigs are coming around. If we are healthy I fear no one. Back this team like they deserve. How about big Zacs fight…live that dude. Not his fault. We are fine. Relax. Cats for life. One loss is ok. No one wants us in the tournament. Go blue

    • rainman
      10:31 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Maybe because this kid is 18 years old? Ever made a mistake at that age?
      GET A GRIP!

    • kcanant
      12:01 pm February 21, 2016 Permalink

      I was frustrated with the rebounding, then Isaac started working…
      I don’t usually yell at the TV, but I did so 3 times saying:
      “I LOVE ISAAC!” and

      I am sticking with that sentiment.
      Nothing happened to change my mind.

      Without his 12 rebounds, we wouldn’t have been in the game at all.

  2. dgtuk
    11:22 pm February 20, 2016 Permalink

    Move on down the road troll….

  3. Willy
    11:29 pm February 20, 2016 Permalink

    No one deserves a beat down for this loss, mistakes occur, move on, & let’s win the rest of these games, that makes this one irrelevant. A stupid call, it is what it is. GO CATS

  4. Saul T. Nuts
    11:33 pm February 20, 2016 Permalink

    What is the official rule for calling the Technical Foul? Below is the only rule I’m seeing…am I missing something? If not, then this call was completely at the discretion of the ref.

    Class A Unsporting Technical Infractions

    Art. 1. A player or substitute committing an unsportsmanlike act including, but not limited to, the following:

    Disrespectfully addressing an official or gesturing in such a manner as to indicate resentment.
    Using profanity or vulgarity; taunting, baiting or ridiculing another player or bench personnel; or pointing a finger at or making obscene gestures toward another player or bench personnel.
    Inciting undesirable crowd reaction.
    Contacting an opponent, while the ball is dead, in an unnecessary, unacceptable and excessive manner.
    Flagrantly (severe or extreme) contacting an opponent while the ball is dead.
    A flagrant noncontact infraction that involves extreme, sometimes persistent, vulgar, abusive conduct when the ball is dead or live.
    Participating after having been disqualified (noncontact flagrant 2 technical).
    Leaving the playing court and going into the stands when a fight may break out or has broken out (flagrant noncontact infraction).
    Fighting as in Rule 10-5.
    Disrespectfully contacting an official

    • WeareBBN
      11:41 pm February 20, 2016 Permalink

      b� CLASS A and CLASS B technical fouls� A CLASS A technical foul involves unsportsmanlike conduct or behavior by a player, substitute, coach or bench personnel� Unsportsmanlike conduct is behavior or an act that is unbecoming to a fair, ethical and honorable individual� A CLASS B technical foul is an infraction of the rules that neither involves contact with an opponent nor causes contact with an opponent and falls below the limit of an unsportsmanlike act� (See Rule 10-3 and 4�)

      Direct from NCAA and it also says in there that after a whistle is blown the player is to give the ball to the nearest official, and one was coming in asking for the ball. Stop whining. Ulis and even Hump knew right away and is why they reacted like they did.

    • rainman
      10:35 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Warnings are given all the time for behavior like this as well!
      The Ref chose to be a butthole, so thats what he is! It’s entirely
      plausable that Isaac didn’t know the ref was BEHIND him as well!

    • catfanmike
      11:45 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Wearebbn, it does say to give the ball to the official, but you still don’t have to call the T in that situation. He has to understand the moment and that it wasn’t showing someone up. They have been swallowing their whistles all year and you can’t do it there? You can take the hardline, but UK(Humphries) had just made a game winning play and you call that deadball crap…give me a break. We pretty much had just overcame your 20 offensive rebound point and beat their ass anyway.

    • WeareBBN
      12:48 pm February 21, 2016 Permalink

      catmike…you are correct, the ref does not have to call the T. Also Isaac does not have to spike the ball to give the ref the opportunity to call it. Both did. Isaac also has to understand the moment, quit placing blame on others for someones actions. Also we have no idea if it was a game winning play. IF he makes both free throws we are up 3 with several seconds left, IF he makes 1 a three beats us and IF he misses both we could lose like we did on a put back. We will never know what would have happened but in all cases it was not the game winning play. Not the first time a T has been called for that and won’t be the last, best way to make sure it is not called is to not spike or slam the ball.

    • UK51Fan
      11:22 pm February 22, 2016 Permalink

      Why is no one showing the A&M player spiking the ball with a no call about 15 minutes earlier? If the call is not a judgement call – based upon SEC front office defense of the call – then where is the technical on the A&M player. Matt J brought this up in the post game show and I haven’t heard anyone follow up on this issue.

      Ironically, the technical increased the differential in foul shots attempted to +7 for A&M in the game. In every single road loss UK has experienced this year, the home team has shot at least 7 more FTs than UK with it going as high as 25 (47 to 22) in the Doug Sirmons called Kansas game. I think that’s what Cal was on Sirmons about early in the USC game. When the differential is +6 or less then UK wins on the road.
      Road losses are so systematic in the SEC that this disparity in fouls being assessed on the road team has to be a strategy coming from the SEC front office which has the effect of screwing over bubble teams at NCAA tourney time both in terms of seeding and it has probably costs the SEC one or two tourney births in recent years. Good teams like LSU, Alabama, perhaps Vandy are really getting screwed by SEC officiating.

  5. WeareBBN
    11:36 pm February 20, 2016 Permalink

    Your statement and I quote
    “Texas A&M out-rebounded UK throughout the entire game, and if not for Humphries, the finally tally would’ve been much worse than 41-36.

    The Cats gave up 20 – TWENTY! – offensive rebounds, by far the most allowed in any game this season. The Aggies turned those boards into 22 second chance points and it’s tough to win giving up that many second looks to anyone.”

    This should have been posted under your title “the story of the game”. It was much more the deciding factor.
    Spiking the ball to where it travels a good distance from you is unsportsmanlike. Especially when the ref was right there asking you for the ball. Maybe every time Briscoe misses a FT he should send the ball to other end of the court. On a whistle you are to give the ball to the nearest official, is in the rule book. Stupid whiners, we lost another game to a bad team, has happened several times this year so I just accept it.

    • WeareBBN
      11:49 pm February 20, 2016 Permalink

      And the article should be titled….
      Kentucky lost due to giving up 20 offensive rebounds

    • cats paw
      5:19 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Maybe Cal should go to a 4 guard line up to improve the rebounding woes? We need another 6ft guard that can’t shoot to balance the team out.

    • rainman
      10:39 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Or maybe we should title it, “We’re without our best low block player, but almost beat you anyway”! That has a ring to it! Or how about, ” It’s YOUR super bowl, but just another game for us”! I like that one!
      SURE rebounding beat us, do you think playing two tough games in 72 hours 1000 miles apart had anything to do with it?

    • WeareBBN
      12:25 pm February 21, 2016 Permalink

      rainman you just made my case. Calling games vs a horrible Tenn team and average Tex A&M team, that had lost 5 of the last 7, “tough” says this UK team is average. And to answer your question, NO, rebounding is want and positioning. Being tired will affect the shot and to a point the positioning. The biggest part of our positioning is switching everything on picks. Creates horrible matchups which lead to rebounding problems. Need to teach how to get through picks, there are several ways, or how to help and recover. Takes coaching.

    • WeareBBN
      12:36 pm February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Not to mention the Big 12, ACC and Pac 10 play Thur-Sat or Sat-Mon weekly. Two games in 72 hours quite often.

  6. Stopover
    12:07 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    Murray leads the world in delta between offense and defense.

  7. Game Changer
    12:19 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    I don’t know why we are so hard headed. Some facts…we would have lost the game without Humphries, having said that… that play was a technical, Ulis and him both knew it as soon as he did it.

    We lost because of SKAL… SKAL can’t do anything right. Missed Free throw and then gets pushed out of the lane so easily. The guy is just weak… physically and mentally. Honestly, I would not take him as a WALK ON… HE SUCKS!!!

    • cats paw
      5:13 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      The technical would have never been called if Ulis hadn’t turned around and made such a spectacle about it to the ref. the refs was headed to the other end until Ulis tied his hands by begging him not to call a tech

  8. ukblue22
    12:20 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    They lost on the no call in regulation where Ulis drove the middle and made the basket to tie the game at the end. Tyler was fouled but no call was made because this officiating crew was not up to the level of the game. It’s become a joke in the SEC/NCAA that the officials are given the training and the tools to succeed but fail at their jobs.

  9. steeleheart
    12:22 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    Tough game and a tougher loss. I’m not gonna crush Hump. He made a mistake, and let emotion (which you very much want from your players at this level) spill over and cost us big time. Sure, we gave up 20!!!! offensive rebounds. And I ain’t about to argue that is a good thing haha, but 19 of them were irrelevant if Hump just hands the ball to the ref and walks down the court and sinks his freethrows. Maybe he makes them both, maybe he makes 1, maybe he makes none. Shrug, we’ll never know.Maybe we win in that scenario, maybe we don’t. Let’s just handle our business from here on out.

    Kudos to the guys handling all the adversity they faced today, They played good enough to win on the road. I’d prefer the win, but I’ll take the growth. I am becoming more and more concerned in one regard. At some point, we need SOMETHING from the guys down low. Something, anything. Please

  10. kyfaninlex
    12:36 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    I understand what you’re trying to say about lack of rebounding hurting. However, I agree with the headline, though. It didn’t matter. With 9 seconds to go and UK in position to win, that rebounding margin no longer mattered. UK had done enough other things right up to that point to offset their lousy boardplay.

    Look at it this way: Think back to the 1993 national title game. Michigan v UNC. If you ask most people what was the story of that game, what would be their response? Answer: Chris Webber’s technical with 11 seconds remaining. But why? Michigan was down 2 when it happened. But you don’t hear people claiming that missed shots or rebounds were the pivotal stat in that game. It’s always “Webber’s technical”.

    Hopefully this time, it got the whole team’s attention. Hopefully every player now understands clearly that slamming the ball down can have bad consequences (especially on a hostile court) so don’t do it.

    • WeareBBN
      1:53 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Ref had it in for Michigan. A timeout has to be granted by the official so if that ref would have chosen not to grant the timeout there would have been no tech.

      See how stupid that logic sounds, yet UK fans are saying the same thing this evening, ref just hates UK and should have ignored it.

  11. WeareBBN
    1:49 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    I knew I remembered Shaq getting called for a T in Rupp. Just looked it up, was on 01-05-1991.

    LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal for slamming ball (called by Don Rutledge)

  12. WildcatSteeler
    1:57 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    Don’t worry Humphries, if you had gotten the minutes you DESERVED you wouldn’t be going crazy right there. You’d have gotten over that 2 months ago. Time to accept the most deserving player don’t play in this system. It’s about getting the commit to the NBA as fast as possible. Cal doesn’t even try to deny it. Then he needs a 20yo guard to tell him Skal isn’t a post player and Humphries is good. He’s the best recruiter there is and a very good coach but we don’t share the same priorities. Mine is UK winning and playing the players that deserve it. His is delivering the promise to the NBA prospects. He openly admits it. I can’t deny he’s had incredible success. But who knows, with the unprecedented talent he’s had, if he had said “this guy is playing over you because he wants it more” what that would have did with all that talent over 1 Championship? Would those guys have then played harder instead of knowing they are gonna start and get their minutes no matter what? We’ll never know.

    • WeareBBN
      2:07 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Well said, you will get bashed as trying to be logical on this site is not welcomed. Is never Cals fault and all losses are because the refs hate UK.

    • EdC
      7:10 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Essentially the same thing he did to Willis until he had no choice but to play Willis.

    • EdC
      7:25 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Forgot to say Cal’s famous Players First mantra isn’t quite the complete picture.

      The complete picture is highly ranked AAU Players First.

    • GoBigBlue
      7:38 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      You are absolutely correct. If Skal was what we thought he would be, Willis would not be getting his minutes in. Now he has no choice to play him, he COULD be a potential NBA player. Lee cannot play fundamental basketball and fouls out, AP is hurt, Willis is hurt and so now he’s forced to play Humphries and almost could of had a double double. However, we are a players first university, he only places the NBA prospects first. Last year is a prime example of showcasing the twins over Ulis and Booker. Josh Harrellson is another example. Noel got hurt and he was forced to play Josh Harrellson and he ended up making the NBA. So I totally agree with you.

    • CatsMan2016
      9:29 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      GobigBlue, Harrelson and Noel were not even on the same team… Harrelson had already graduated and got alot of PT due to Enes not being cleared by the NCAA. How much do you really know about Kentucky basketball or basketball in general?

    • EdC
      9:52 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Besides Enes, Harrelson’s big breakthrough came when he complained on social media about what did it take to get Cal to notice him. Cal called him out and Harrelson reacted well, worked harder and did a great job.

      I think there was SOME of that with Willis but there also looked to be an awful lot of the bull headed Skal has to deserve playing time because he is so ridiculously over-hyped.

      At this point it looks pretty obvious that Skal is a one trick pony. He can shoot pretty much unguardable mid range jumpers but if he can’t rebound like a 7 footer, can’t guard like a 7 footer and when he sets a pick it is setting a toothpick looks pretty obvious to me that you go with Humphries over Skal.

    • rainman
      10:46 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Just 1 question in all this, WHERE do YOU coach?

  13. WildcatCam
    1:58 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    Murray’s percentage was worse than Isaiah’s, Drew…don’t come for zay like that lol

  14. WeareBBN
    2:02 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    Off topic but hilarious. LSU coach did not start Simmons because of academic issues, then plays him 36 minutes. Way to send a message coach, I am sure he is studying right now so no further punishment is handed out.

  15. StuckinLville
    2:04 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    It is completely reckless to say that Humphries cost his team the game. The team gave up 15 offensive rebounds in the first half. Briscoe shot the ball way too many times. Skal just cant be inside and even the great Ulis had some bad passes that led to turnovers. If Humphries doesnt come in and play D like he did and come up with 12 rebounds, we lose by more. So to put the blame solely on him is completely ridiculous.

    • kyfaninlex
      10:36 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Football scenario: Team is up 6 with the ball with 10 seconds on the clock. Instead of taking a knee, quarterback throws a pick-6. Team loses by 1. Who gets blamed for the loss? Do you blame the defense for missing tackles in the first quarter? Do you blame special teams for not blocking that last extra point at the end of regulation? Of course not. Any defensive lapses up to that point are irrelevant: the team had the lead and just needed to take care of the ball.

      Baseball scenario: Starting pitcher gives up 6 runs including a grand slam before getting yanked in the 2nd inning. Team fights back and takes a 7-6 lead headed into bottom of the 9th. Closer gives up a 2-run HR, team loses 7-8. Which pitcher gets credited with the ‘L’ on the official stat sheet? Do they put an asterisk next to the ‘L’ on the closer’s record saying that it would have been a ‘save’ if the starter hadn’t been torched in the first inning?

      Once you’ve tied or taken the lead, almost everything on the score sheet prior to that point is irrelevant (notwithstanding things like fouls that continue to accumulate). It’s a new game. All that matters is what happens from that point forward. If you have the lead and do something that causes you to no longer have that lead then *that’s* what cost you the lead.

  16. bluecat15
    6:21 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    Skal is awful. Cal had no choice but play him late. He is weak and tentative. Good luck in D league.

  17. EdC
    7:14 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    “The story of the game is Humphries’ technical foul, unfortunately.” The only reason that is the story is because he played his ass off and got more rebounds than any other 2 players on the team combined. Without him doing that the Cats get blown out and this discussion never happens.

  18. Wildcat Sheli
    7:54 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    Adams, along with Sirmons, was also a ref for the Kansas game.

  19. poppycat
    8:03 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    No one remembers………..if Lee hits the ft…… over time

    • Wildcat Sheli
      8:29 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      Or if the refs hadn’t called a travel, Lee’s vital basket could have counted. . . .

    • KYJelly
      8:32 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

      We can’t work with “what if”s. If Skal hits his ft, we go to another overtime. If Murray defends better on the final play, maybe we win. If Willis doesn’t get hurt, maybe the game is never close at the end.

      Offensive rebounds killed us. A team getting back in transition can be a gameplan and you have to accept it, but you can adjust to a team that is rebounding and fight harder

  20. KYJelly
    8:36 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    Is slamming the ball down a technical? Yes. Is the coach leaving the coaches box a technical? Yes. The argument that it is a rule is bogus, referees use judgment and the context with which the technical is occurring. Should a coach get a technical every time they leave the box? Of course not, but if they are acting ridiculous or repeatedly offending the rule in a negative manner, then yes. Same deal with Humphries, it was not done in a moment of frustration or anger, he was celebrating. I honestly believe if the players on both teams hadn’t reacted to it, the technical wouldn’t have been called.

    Anyone who doesn’t agree with it, look no further than Bilas’s and Greenberg’s opinions as well as the officials they’ve spoke with, I’ll trust their opinions on the matter over people here.

  21. gottodoit
    8:52 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    Texas A&M is asking for Pat Adams’ whistle. They want to hang it from the Reed Arena rafters.

  22. Cat68
    9:43 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    I know we’ve all heard it’s against the rules for Cal to address or question the officiating in his press conferences. Is that strictly an SEC thing? Because Coach K did a masterful job of cutting the officials at his press conference after their loss at UofL yesterday. Does the ACC have the same rules or does Coach K have a bigger pair than Coach Cal? Just once I’d like Cal’s inner Pennsylvania come out.

  23. The Rest of the story
    10:49 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    First of all Humphries did not lose the game for us. He was actually terrific getting rebounds that none of our other bigs could. Cal is so damn stubborn with trying to make Skal something he is not by playing him when Anyone but him should be on the floor in a crucial time like the end of the game. The officials are a joke in the SEC and have been for years. Not just against the Cats but watch any game and you see these clowns are the nations worst. Cal has done a huge disservice to Humphries from day one. This guy should have been the starter and received the most coaching but damn if he still cannot see that. If Willis is gone for several games the Cats are in big trouble and will not win another road game in the SEC. He was the difference maker and we have to go back to playing Ulis and Murray as our only scorers against the teams left on the schedule.

  24. 2Dogs
    11:11 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    If an A & M player had spiked the ball like that then the earth around here would have shaken with all the UK fans jumping out of their chairs screaming for a T. Even the UK players immediately knew it was going to get called. Nothing wrong with the call.

  25. roundball fool
    11:38 am February 21, 2016 Permalink

    We lost the O/T the same way we lost the game. Not rebounding. Isaac made a huge contribution and he’s going to be a great player going forward.

    Willis already seemed rickety after his post game comments the other night. Now, the sprained ankle is another setback. Here’s hoping Alex can make it back and contribute some good minutes.

    If we’re healthy by March we’ll be OK.

    • UK51Fan
      11:34 pm February 22, 2016 Permalink

      Good point, the technical put Isaac on the bench for the final play – Hump gets that last rebound and we play another OT. Given UK’s depleted ranks, we probably still loose.