In the second handshake line incident in women’s college basketball this week, a Memphis Tigers guard is facing criminal charges after punching a Bowling Green player after the Falcons’ victory Thursday night at the female NIT.
As the teams walked to center court following Bowling Green’s 73-60 victory in the Round of 16 game, Memphis’ Jamirah Shutes stopped to speak with Falcons player Elissa Brett.
After a brief conversation, Shutes appeared to throw a punch at Brett’s face. Brett fell toward the scorer’s table and onto the sideline.
There was no immediate word on what caused the confrontation or if any players were seriously injured.
However, the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper reported that Shutes, who leads the Tigers in scoring, was elbowed in the face with 24 seconds remaining in the first quarter and played just eight minutes in the first half. He started the second half again.
Memphis Tigers guard Jamirah Shutes (23) is escorted off the court after the altercation.
Bowling Green Falcons guard Elissa Brett (5), left, is assisted off the court after the incident.
After a brief conversation, Shutes appeared to throw a punch at Brett’s face.
“Following the unexplained physical incident on Thursday following the WNIT home game, the Bowling Green State University Police Department charged a member of the Memphis women’s basketball team with assault,” a statement from the Department of Police read. BGSU athletics.
‘In addition, BGSU Athletics is conducting its own review. 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 Bowling Green City Attorney, and no further comment is available at this time.
Bowling Green coach Robyn Fralich did not comment directly on the incident after the game, saying only that they were “figuring out all of that stuff”, as to what happened down the handshake line.
The Memphis athletic department said Friday that the incident was “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 into the hands of local authorities and we are fully cooperating with their process,” the statement said. “To be respectful of that process, we will not comment further until it is complete.”
Shutes, a fifth-year player who finished with 13 points in her last game with the Tigers, was a second-team All-AAC selection this season.
Brett scored 15 points in the win.
Earlier in the game, Brett (No. 5) threw a charge against the Tigers’ Shutes (No. 23)
Thursday’s incident followed a similar on-court confrontation after Monday’s Louisville-Texas game in the Women’s NCAA Tournament.
Cardinals leading scorer Hailey Van Lith tried to push her way across the handshake line after Louisville’s win when she was stopped by the first Longhorns player she met, Sonya Morris.
Morris grabbed Van Lith’s hand, holding him back as the two exchanged words.
It’s unclear what the two said to each other or what the earlier issue was, but Morris appeared to be relaying a direct message to Van Lith, who responded by shoving the Texas senior aside. Clearly, Van Lith was still crooning to Morris as he continued to hit fives with the downed Longhorns players.
The clip went viral, which wasn’t a surprise to Van Lith, “because it’s women’s basketball and people treat us differently all the time.”
“I mean that happens in the NBA game every day,” Van Lith said before Friday’s regional semifinal against Ole Miss. But, you know, it really wasn’t a big deal and people are trying to stretch.
The incident between Morris (left) and Van Lith (right) occurred after Monday’s game
Some social media lip readers tried to deduce what was said during the heated exchange, but Van Lith dismissed those accounts when speaking to reporters on Thursday.
“I’m not on social media so I don’t know what people are saying,” she said. ‘I really, particularly, don’t worry about it. But I think if you know me and watched me, it was actually a very quiet time for me.
After Monday’s game, Van Lith told the Louisville Courier-Journal that she won’t let anyone “disrespect her,” adding that her “teammates had my back.”
“And I have nothing bad to say,” Van Lith continued. They are very well trained. They have great players. So, it is what it is. People get sad when they lose. I would also be sad.
A Texas spokesperson declined to comment on the incident to DailyMail.com.
A Louisville spokesperson referred Van Lith’s post-game comments to DailyMail.com.
Van Lith (pictured) is done talking about his viral post-game exchange with Texas’ Morris