VIDEO | Fight Breaks Out in Women’s Basketball Game


Basketball and hoop | Image by Brocreative/Shutterstock

A women’s college basketball game between Florida and Kentucky in the first round of the SEC Tournament turned violent on Wednesday night, as a fight broke out with 5:26 remaining in the first half.

After a Kentucky basket, Florida forward Tatyana Wyche reportedly hurled the ball toward Kentucky forward Ajae Petty and ran after her.

That caused several players to leave their benches to defend their teammates, which forced a 22-minute stoppage as officials reviewed the play for potential ejections.

Four players were ejected from each side. Florida had to continue without Wyche, her sister Taliyah, Faith Dut, and Ra Shaya Kyle, while Kentucky lost Cassidy Rowe, Saniah Tyler, Eniya Russell, and Zennia Thomas.

Kentucky, the number 14-seed in the women’s SEC Tournament, defeated 11-seeded Florida and advanced to play 6-seeded Alabama on Thursday.

In a postgame press conference, Florida head coach Kelly Rae Finley addressed the incident.

“Well, obviously that’s not how we want to represent ourselves, as Florida women’s basketball and in the competitive spirit,” she said. “So first and foremost I apologize for that, because that is not representative of the SEC, University of Florida, or how we compete.”

The SEC also provided a statement to The Dallas Express regarding the scuffle.

“With 5:26 left in the first half of the Kentucky vs Florida women’s basketball game, several players were ejected from the game,” the conference said.

“No.2 [Tatyana Wyche] for Florida was given a technical foul then disqualified and ejected from the game. She will be suspended from her next game for fighting based on NCAA Rule 10-15. No.13 [Petty] for Kentucky was given an intentional foul for her part in the initial exchange. As the situation escalated, players from both benches entered the playing area and were disqualified and ejected from the game.”

NCAA Rule 10-15 designates a definition for “fighting” and deems it a “disqualifying foul.”

The rule states that “a fight is a disqualifying foul.”

“A fight is a confrontation involving one or more players, coaches or other team personnel wherein (but not limited to) a fist, hand, arm, foot, knee, or leg is used to combatively strike the other individual … Whether there is contact is irrelevant. The perpetrator shall be deemed to have been involved in a fight.”

Rule 10-14 lays out several examples of “disqualifying fouls,” including “engag[ing] in a fight” and “leav[ing] the bench area when a fight may break out or has broken out.”

By rule, the foul is flagrant and can be called on any player or team personnel. However, coaches and personnel may leave the bench area when trying to keep the situation from escalating.

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