Women’s basketball tournament game ends with a sucker-punch and an assault charge

After the Bowling Green Falcons beat the Memphis Tigers in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) on Thursday, a Tiger guard allegedly beat a Falcon player in the normally congratulatory handshake line.

Following Bowling Green’s 73-60 win over the Tigers, guard Jamirah Shutes allegedly sucker-punched Elissa Brett — a confrontation that ended with Shutes’ arrest on an assault charge.

In a press release issued on Friday, the Bowling Green State University Police Department confirmed that Shutes, a fifth-year player, was involved in an “unwarranted physical incident.”

“Following Thursday’s unwarranted physical incident after the WNIT home game, the Bowling Green State University Police Department has charged a member of the Memphis women’s basketball team with assault,” the statement read, according to Fox News Digital (FND).

“Absolutely hate to see this…Elissa Brett punched in the face after Bowling Green’s #WNIT victory over Memphis,” reported WTOL11 Toledo weekend sports anchor H. Tyler Seggerman on Twitter. “She fell to the ground after being hit but fortunately was able to walk back to the locker room with some assistance. Hopefully she’s okay!”

The video appears to show Shutes being grabbed by a member of her team’s coaching staff and ushered off the court.

Brett sustained “swelling in their right eye due to this strike,” according to an incident report, and was assisted off the court.

“Violence is never acceptable, and our priority remains the health, safety and support of our student-athlete, who is recovering and doing well,” BGSU police said. “This is an active investigation in conjunction with the City of Bowling Green Prosecutor, and no further comment is available at this time.”

In a Friday statement of its own, Memphis Athletics called the incident “extremely unfortunate.”

“The incident that occurred following Thursday’s women’s basketball game was extremely unfortunate and certainly not consistent with, or representative of, our expectations for our programs and student-athletes,” the statement read.

“Because the incident occurred after the game, jurisdiction falls in the hands of local authorities, and we are cooperating fully with their process,” it continued. “To be respectful of that process, we will not comment further until it is complete.”

“Bowling Green coach Robyn Fralich didn’t directly comment on the incident after the game, saying only that they were ‘figuring all those things out,’ as far as what happened in the handshake line,” the Associated Press reports.

So far, the cause of the confrontation is unclear.

Later on Friday, Memphis Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Laird Veatch announced on Twitter that coach Katrina Merriweather was “resigning to take a position at another institution.”

“Coach Merriweather has been transparent with us throughout the process over recent days, and she arrived at her decision despite our significant efforts to retain her,” Veatch said in a statement. “She also indicated that this decision was entirely independent from the circumstances surrounding the end of our season.”

“The next leader for Memphis Tiger women’s basketball will begin immediately,” Veatch added.



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