A10: Technical on St. Bonaventure not for fans prematurely storming court

The Atlantic 10 Conference said Sunday that the technical foul that extended the VCU-St. Bonaventure game on Saturday wasn't because the Bonnies' fans stormed the court before the game was over, thinking they had upset the Rams.

The conference, which issued a statement Saturday night saying the officials had made the correct call, now says the fans didn't spill onto the court until after time expired.

But there were plenty of other reasons to call a technical, the conference says. The game officials only erred in citing crowd interference as the rationale.

The conference said the officials would be disciplined for not immediately stopping the game for disruption of play when the other violations occurred.

After the technical, VCU's JeQuan Lewis made the free throw to send the game to overtime, and the Rams went on to win.

According to a clarification released by the conference Sunday, there were several violations that warranted an administrative technical foul.

"The administrative technical foul was assessed for multiple reasons," the conference said "The most significant was an individual taking the game ball from the inbounding baseline [assuming time had expired] and walking down the sideline, causing the VCU player to look for the ball, and chase the individual to secure the ball for inbound. Simultaneously, one of the game officials collided with a fan on the court, prior to the inbound toss. It was after these violations that the clock expired, and the students and fans stormed the court with :00 on the clock."

Leading most of the game, VCU (18-5, 8-2 Atlantic 10) fell behind with just half a second left in regulation when Matt Mobley sank a step-back 3-pointer to put St. Bonaventure (14-8, 6-4) on top 66-65.

The arena was in a frenzy when VCU asked for the technical. After a lengthy consultation and review, Lewis calmly hit the free throw.

Lewis told the Richmond Times-Dispatch after the game that one of the security guards had the ball while everybody was storming the court. He said reserve guard Doug Brooks snatched the ball out of the guard's hands, then he ran to the baseline and threw it in. That's when VCU called for the technical.

The Atlantic 10 Conference released a statement Saturday night saying it was the "correct call" to assess a technical foul shot to VCU: "The conference office has reviewed the end of the game, and spoken to the Atlantic 10 coordinator of officiating, who verified that it was in fact the correct call."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.