Here we go again.
Players from Southern Mississippi and Arizona State exchanged blows in the second half of the Golden Eagles’ 64-61 last- second victory over the Sun Devils on Monday night. Kentucky transfer Darnell Dodson drilled a three at the buzzer for the win.
But the story revolved around a heated exchanged with 12:14 remaining, when Southern Miss forward Torye Pelham pushed Arizona State’s Ruslan Pateev in the face as the two were battling for position in the paint as a Golden Eagle 3-pointer went through the net.
Pateev retaliated by running up behind Pelham and punching him the back of the head. It didn’t erupt into a full-fledged brawl, but both players were ejected for fighting and likely will see further punishment.
The incident comes just 10 days after a melee at the conclusion of the Xavier-Cincinnati cross-town rivalry game in which eight players were suspended. Cincy’s Yancy Gates landed a memorable cheap shot punch that bloodied the face of Xavier’s Kenny Frease.
Despite the relatively tame exchange between Pelham and Pateev, it’s a shame the exciting finish to the contest was overshadowed by more in-game violence.