Watch: Paige Bueckers Responds to Controversial Call in Game Against Caitlin Clark, Iowa – ‘A Lot of Mistakes’

Watch: Paige Bueckers Responds to Controversial Call in Game Against Caitlin Clark, Iowa – ‘A Lot of Mistakes’

UConn star guard Paige Bueckers could have sounded off about the officiating after an offensive foul called against UConn with seconds to play was instrumental in UConn’s 71-69 loss to Iowa in Friday night’s Final Four game.

But even as debate raged over whether the call was good or bad, Bueckers said she believed she fell short of her standards, according to a post on X.

“Everybody can make a big deal of that one single play, but not one single play wins a basketball game or loses a basketball game,” she said. “I feel like there were a lot of mistakes that I made that could’ve prevented that play from even being that big or causing the game …”

“You can look at one play and say, ‘That killed us’ or ‘That hurt us,’ but should have done a better job, I should have done a better job, of making sure we didn’t leave the game up to chance like that and leave the game up to one bad call going our way and that deciding it, so, yeah, maybe that’s a tough call for us, but I feel like I coulda done a better job of preventing that from even happening,” she said.

Bueckers noted that UConn might not be champions, but the players were still winners.

“Everybody saw the heart, the joy, the passion that we played with,” she said. “We just love each other and we enjoy being around each other. And this season meant everything to us, against all odds,” she said, according to CT Insider.

“It’s not the ending that we wanted, but just to look back and — it’s hard right now, of course, because all you’re thinking about is the loss, but this is relationships and memories we’ll have for the rest of our life,” she said.

Bueckers had the grace to praise coach Geno Auriemma.

“I’m grateful that he recruited me here,” Bueckers, who will return for her final year at UConn next year, said. “He recruited everyone else around me here, because I love every single one of them. And I owe everything to this program, and I’m super grateful.”

On Friday night, Bueckers scored just 17 points, which was her lowest total for the NCAA Tournament, according to Sports Illustrated.

Auriemma hinted there might have been a reason for that, according to ESPN.

“She definitely didn’t get the ball enough and definitely didn’t play the way she had played in the tournament leading up to today. There was something bothering her. I think it was physical. But she wasn’t her aggressive self,” he said.

Asked what he suspected was the issue, Auriemma replied, “I don’t know. She didn’t say anything. She just had this look about her that wasn’t quite right,”

“She didn’t move the way she’s been moving. … She wasn’t as active as she normally is,” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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