SIUE forward DeeJuan Pruitt and UT Martin forward Rifen Miguel were walking chest-to-chest up the court, after an SIUE basket when Pruitt unloaded a punch on Miguel. Both players were ejected along with UT Martin sophomore forward Jalen Myers, who swung at Pruitt in retaliation but did not connect with his swing.
Punches were thrown during the Ohio Valley Conference tournament quarterfinal between SIU Edwardsville and UT Martin.
Three players in total were ejected from the game. pic.twitter.com/x0cEFNZc8Y
— ESPN (@espn) March 3, 2023
The situation seemed to stem from the previous SIUE possession, when Miguel came running into the paint on the Cougars’ shot attempt and bumped into Pruitt – who was gaining position for a rebound. Pruitt then immediately went at Miguel, getting in his face as Miguel put his hands up and walked up the court, leaning into Pruitt’s face as he did so.
Miguel was left bleeding from the incident, which occurred with 4:13 left in the first half. He was admitted to the hospital on Friday morning.
Before the ejections, Pruitt had three points and two rebounds in 14 minutes while Miguel had seven points and three rebounds in four minutes. Myers had two points, one rebound, one assist and one steal in eight minutes.
UT Martin held on to win the game 81-75, knocking SIUE out and moving on to the OVC semifinals on Friday. All three players are suspended for their next game per NCAA rules, meaning Miguel and Myers will be out for Friday’s game and Pruitt will miss the first game of next season.
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