What Bruce Pearl said about Saturday’s controversial no-call, his team’s performance at Tennessee
The No. 23 Auburn Tigers made just 24% of their shots in Saturday’s loss to No. 2 Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville. Despite its’ poor shooting effort, the Tigers still had a chance to force overtime and possibly exit Knoxville with a win.
In the final seconds of the game, Auburn’s Wendell Green Jr. took a three-point that, if made, would have tied the game at 46-46 at the buzzer. Green’s shot was off the mark but Tennessee’s Oliver Nkamhoua appeared to have made contact with Green while he was airborne.
The officials did not deem the contact worthy of a foul. The “what might have been” factor of the no-call was a popular topic on social media following the game, but how does Auburn’s head man feel about the incident?
After Auburn’s 46-43 loss to Tennessee on Saturday afternoon, Bruce Pearl was asked if the officials offered clarification as to what they saw.
“No. No explanation,” Pearl said while shaking his head in disappointment.
Pearl could have taken shots at the officiating crew, but instead shared accountability with the media after the game, saying that his team should have been in a better position to win without needing help from the referees.
“Very disappointed (at what happened) after the game. Very disappointed. But I have to do a better job, in practice, I just have to work on it more,” Pearl said. “We work on a lot of things, and I just have to work on in-game offense so that I can get my team better shots. That is what I am responsible for.”
Pearl also shared his regret for not setting up Johni Broome, who only took 12 shots during Saturday’s game, with more touches. He also talked about his team’s low shooting percentage.
“I think that we are going to look at it and say that we got some pretty good looks. We missed some open shots,” Pearl said. “You are playing the No. 2 team in the country, you have to make open shots because it is hard to get open shots.”
Pearl and the Tigers will now prepare for a quick turnaround, as they will play a rematch against Texas A&M on Tuesday night in Bryan-College Station, Texas. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.