A brawl marred an otherwise competitive game between Texas Southern and Southern on Saturday and ended in a double forfeit, setting a rancorous tenor for Wednesday's Southwestern Athletic Conference women's tournament.
The altercation, which involved players, fans and even cheerleaders, took place under Southern's basket with Southern leading 51-49, according to a report in The Advocate.
With 12:37 left in the second half, Texas Southern's Miracle Davis took a charge, The Sporting News reported.
More, from The Advocate:
“I just saw two kids standing up looking at each other and someone else push and yell,” [Southern coach Sandy] Pugh said. “My first reaction is to tell everyone to stay on the bench. But I look up and TSU has two kids running in.
“One of their kids throws the first punch, and one of our kids was on the ground and someone was just pounding her. Next thing I know, it was a melee.”
TSU’s Alexus Johnson and Diamonisha Sophus threw punches, and security had to hold Johnson back minutes later from storming into the Southern locker room.
“It was very undisciplined by both teams and fans on the sideline,” TSU coach Johnetta Hayes-Perry said. “I thought after the charge both players were trying to get up, but another player pushed them and that is all I could see.”
Southern Athletic Director William Broussard was in the arena and saw the brawl from his seat.
“I saw our coaches on the bench try to form a human chain to hold our players back, but when you see so much going on and there was a perception that other individuals were rushing the court, then everyone got involved,” he said. “It’s an ugly, unfortunate situation, especially considering it was shaping up to be a great finish.”
Southern was involved in a separate scuffle that cleared both team's benches last month in a game against Alabama A&M, according to The Advocate.
Southern's players were escorted out a side door by security and were not available following the game, according to The Advocate.
Both teams finished atop the conference at 16-2 in after the double-forfeit, but the Jaguars were awarded a share of the league title along with the Tigers on the grounds that they were leading in the game when the brawl occurred, the report said.
The SWAC women's conference tournament begins Tuesday at the Toyota Center in Houston.
- Will Green