A Women’s NIT game between Memphis and Bowling Green ended in a confrontation in the postgame handshake line — and in an assault charge for one of the players.
After Memphis’ 73-60 loss, Tigers senior Jamirah Shutes paused the procession to exchange words with Falcons senior Elissa Brett. As Brett walked away, Shutes struck her in the head, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.
After the altercation, Memphis players exited the court. Brett laid on the floor briefly before she was helped up and walked off the court.
The incident was referred to the Bowling Green campus police, who charged “a member of the Memphis women’s basketball team with assault,” the school said in a statement Friday.
“Additionally, BGSU Athletics is conducting its own review,” the statement continued. “Violence is never acceptable and our priority remains the health, safety and support of our student-athlete, who is recovering and doing well. This is an active investigation in conjunction with the City of Bowling Green Prosecutor, and no further comment is available at this time.”
A Memphis player appears to punch a Bowling Green player after Memphis’ loss in a WNIT game. pic.twitter.com/Z705DpNwLT— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) March 24, 2023
A Memphis player appears to punch a Bowling Green player after Memphis’ loss in a WNIT game. pic.twitter.com/Z705DpNwLT
While neither team commented after the game on what happened in the postgame handshake line, Shutes and Brett had been involved in a physical battle during the game, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.
Shutes was double-teamed by Brett and her Bowling Green teammate Sophie Dziekan at the end of the first quarter. Brett was called for a foul on the play, and then Dziekan appeared to hit Shutes in the face inadvertently while grabbing for the ball. Shutes exited the game and did not return until after halftime.
Memphis called the incident “extremely unfortunate and certainly not consistent with, or representative of, our expectations for our programs and student-athletes.”
“Because the incident occurred after the game, jurisdiction falls in the hands of local authorities, and we are cooperating fully with their process,” the school said in a statement released Friday. “To be respectful of that process, we will not comment further until it is complete.”
Bowling Green advances to host Florida in the WNIT’s Great 8 at 6 p.m. ET Monday.