Eight players ejected after fight during SEC tournament

Florida's Ra Shaya Kyle holds back teammate Taliyah Wyche during a scuffle with Kentucky in the SEC tournament. (Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Eight players were ejected after a scuffle broke out during an SEC women’s basketball tournament first-round matchup Wednesday between Florida and Kentucky.

Four players from each team were thrown out of the game at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C. The conflict started when Florida forward Tatyana Wyche took issue with a handoff from Kentucky forward Ajae Petty in the middle of the second quarter.

After the Wildcats scored a basket, Petty rolled the ball up Wyche’s face as she handed the ball off for the in-bounds play. Wyche threw the ball toward Petty’s back and then ran after her and toward the Kentucky bench, where the fight escalated.

Ejections followed, including for Wyche. For Florida, Faith Dut, Ra Shaya Kyle and Taliyah Wyche also were ejected for exiting the Gators’ bench. For Kentucky, Cassidy Rowe, Eniya Russell, Zennia Thomas and Saniah Tyler were ejected for exiting the Wildcats’ bench, per Lexington Herald-Leader reporter Caroline Makauskas. Petty received a technical but was not ejected.

The game was delayed for 22 minutes after the altercation, but No. 14 seed Kentucky (11-18) went on to take a 72-57 win against No. 11 seed Florida.

The Wildcats advance to face No. 6 seed Alabama in the second round Thursday, though they may be shorthanded if the conference decides to hand out suspensions to players involved in the incident.