Big East: Official was within bounds to make 'judgment call'

Big East coordinator of officials Art Hyland said Tuesday that official Bob Donato was within his right to whistle Villanova for a last-second foul, a call that ultimately decided Monday night's game in Georgetown's favor.

Donato called a foul on Villanova's Corey Stokes after he bumped Jonathan Wallace about 80 feet from the basket with less than 1 second remaining. Wallace made both free throws to give the Big East-leading Hoyas a 55-53 home victory.

"There is no force-out rule and if [Wallace] was forced out, he either was bumped for a foul or he stepped out of bounds," Hyland said. "When a kid is bumped and goes out of bounds, you have to make a call. It's a judgment call."

Hyland said the timing of the foul does not matter.

"A foul is a foul," Hyland said. "It's a judgment situation."

Multiple attempts to reach Donato were unsuccessful.

The circumstances will not affect Donato's future assignments, Hyland said. Hyland added he wasn't sure if Donato was scheduled to work another Villanova game this season, but even if he is, there will not be a change.

"Those assignments are made in the summer," said Hyland, who has no role in determining NCAA tournament assignments and could not say if this would affect Donato in any way.

The foul call not only decided the outcome but also could have a significant impact on the final Big East standings. The victory allowed No. 8 Georgetown (20-3, 10-2) to remain atop the Big East, tied in the loss column with Notre Dame (18-4, 8-2) and a game ahead of Louisville (18-6, 8-3) and Connecticut (18-5, 7-3).

Meanwhile, Villanova (14-9) fell to 4-7 in the conference and into a three-way tie for 12th with Providence (13-10, 4-7) and St. John's (10-12, 4-7). This is the final season that only 12 of the conference's 16 teams will be included in the Big East postseason tournament.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.