Women's Final Four: Controversial late foul call in Iowa State's win over UConn sparks outcry on social media

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Kaitlyn Clarke celebrates the reaction of Nika Muhl and Alia Edwards after the foul was called.



CNN

The controversial late foul call that proved pivotal in Iowa Victory 71-69 UConn's women's Final Four sparked some outrage on social media with stars like LeBron James and Angel Reese Weighed in.

but, Yukon The players expressed their frustration but refused to use it to explain their defeat.

No. 3 UConn was trailing by one point Friday with 3.9 seconds remaining when Aaliyah Edwards was fouled while setting a screen with her team on their final offensive possession.

She told reporters afterward that Edwards had not been given an “explanation” about the foul call. “There was no real time to get an explanation for it. From my perspective, it was very clean.”

The foul gave the ball back to Iowa State and Kaitlyn Clark made her first free throw shortly thereafter, after being fouled by Paige Bueckers with 3.1 seconds left. Although she missed her second goal, it gave Iowa a 71-69 lead, and after the two teams battled for the ball, the Hawkeyes held on to it by owning the arrow of possession.

Iowa State guard Gabby Marshall said Saturday that she deleted her social media accounts after a series of online hate comments about the foul call.

“I'm not the one who made the call, so I'm not sure why they would be mad at me personally,” the Hawkeyes' senior said in a news conference Saturday, according to CNN affiliate KCCI.

“Personally, I thought it was an illegal screen and it wasn't like it was the first screen of the game,” Marshall said. “I feel like it kind of ignored the fact that I played my ass off the whole game trying to protect it. I tried to get past screens the whole game and I feel like that one play took it all away.”

Hawkeyes head coach Lisa Bluder criticized the hate comments directed at Marshall.

“It's unbelievable to me that you would criticize a 22-year-old for something she had no control over? I thought we handled that really well. We turned on her. I thought we were there to compete,” Bluder said Saturday. “I can't believe people would be so immature to attack a 22-year-old for doing his job and doing it really well.”

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Social media went into overdrive following the controversial incident with NBA star James leading the criticism and much uproar stemming from the call that was made so late in the game.

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The Iowa Hawkeyes celebrate after defeating the UConn Huskies 71-69 in a Final Four semifinal game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Friday in Cleveland.

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Iowa State's Kaitlyn Clark celebrates after the game. Clark had 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

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The Hawkeyes celebrate as the Huskies walk off the field after the game.

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Clark hits a free throw in the final moments of the game.

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UConn guard Paige Bueckers lies on the floor in the second half.

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Clark listens to Iowa State coach Lisa Bluder during the second half.

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Ace Brady of the UConn Huskies shoots the ball.

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Iowa State's Kate Martin expresses her admiration after suffering an injury in the second half.

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Martin jumps to defend Bueckers' shot.

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Iowa Hawkeyes fans hold up signs during the game.

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Iowa players react from the bench during the second half.

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Bluder reacts in the second half.

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Bueckers battles for a loose ball with Iowa guard Gabe Marshall during the first half. The Huskies led 32-26 at halftime.

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UConn's Aaliyah Edwards looks to hit the ground running in the first half. Edwards scored 17 points during the game.

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UConn's KK Arnold shoots the ball over Clark.

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Martin was fouled by Edwards during the first half.

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Martin and the UConn Huskies' No. 2 Arnold fight for the ball.

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Clark shoots the ball over UConn's Ashlynn Shade. UConn held Clark to six points, while shooting 3-of-11 from the field, including 0-6 from the three-point line.

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The Iowa Hawkeyes rally early in the game.

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Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse was photographed in the first half of Iowa State's game against UConn.

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South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and guard Bree Hall celebrate after defeating the North Carolina State Wolfpack 78-59 in the women's tournament Final Four.

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NC State's Zoe Brooks walks off the field after losing to the Gamecocks.

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South Carolina's Ashlyn Watkins kicks the ball in the second half. Watkins scored eight points during the game.

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Staley's reaction during the match.

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Gamecocks guard MiLaysia Fulwiley controls the ball in the third quarter. Fulwaili scored seven points during the game.

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NC State's River Baldwin competes with South Carolina's Chloe Kitts for possession in the second half.

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Hall celebrates after scoring a 3-pointer during the second half.

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South Carolina's Sanya Feigen tries to lie down while guarding Baldwin.

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North Carolina State head coach Wes Moore guides his team through the second half.

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South Carolina's Raven Johnson drives around NC State's Zoe Brooks during the first half. The Gamecocks allowed a 32-31 lead at halftime.

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NC State Wolfpack's Katie Benoita looks for an opening during the first half.

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Folwile and Brooks battle for the ball in the second quarter.

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South Carolina Gamecocks' Camila Cardoso and Sania Rivers jump in for the opening tip-off.

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Cocky South Carolina Gamecocks mascot cheers before game.

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NC State Wolfpack players huddle together before tip-off.

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South Carolina's T-Hina Paopao enters the court during the players' pre-game introduction.

“Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! I don't agree to this call,” James Published on Xformerly known as Twitter.

Reese, whose LSU was defeated by Iowa in the Elite Eight, to publish “Wait, wasn't that screen clean?” While WNBA player Kelsey Bloom He said: “Calling that on a game you decide to play is very wrong.”

Actress Gabrielle Union to publish “I hate the end of the game. That's a damn shame. Iowa State came out to play and so did UConn. That's not how you define a game like this at all.”

Despite this, star guard Bueckers told reporters afterward that the “difficult decision” did not cause UConn to lose.

“Anyone can build a great deal off of this single game, but no single game can win a basketball game or lose a basketball game,” she said. “You can look at one play and say, ‘Oh, that killed us or hurt us.’ But we should have done better.”

Meanwhile, her coach Geno Auriemma told reporters that “there's probably an illegal screen call you can make on every possession.”

He added: “I know that three or four of them were summoned, and I do not think that any of them were summoned.” “So I think we have to get better about not putting up illegal screens.”

The NCAA told CNN that no request was made for a pool reporter's statement regarding any decisions made by officials during Friday's game.

Ashley R. contributed. CNN's Williams prepared this report.

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