A Memphis women’s basketball player has been charged with assault after punching a player on the opposing team after a loss in the third round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).
The incident occurred after the Bowling Green women’s basketball team defeated Memphis 73-60 on Thursday night.
During the end-of-game handshake line, a senior guard on Memphis, Jamirah Shutes, stopped and grew confrontational with Bowling Green guard Elissa Brett. Shutes threw a punch, knocking Brett to the ground.
Shutes was quickly pulled away by a member of the Memphis team’s staff and led off the court.
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Brett was helped up and also led off the court.
The head coach of the Bowling Green team, Robyn Fralich, didn’t offer much comment on the matter following the game. “We’re still kind of figuring all those things out – what happened,” she said.
BGSU women’s basketball moving on to the final 8 of the WNIT after beating Memphis — but this will steal the headlines unfortunately.
Ugly, ugly scene in the handshake line. A Memphis player punched Elissa Brett. Just brutal. pic.twitter.com/2hptXYBEtj
— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) March 24, 2023
Since the physical altercation took place after the game had ended, the incident was placed in the hands of local authorities, who charged Shutes with assault.
In a statement, Bowling Green said, “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.”
“Additionally, 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 City of Bowling Green Prosecutor, and no further comment is available at this time.”
The Memphis athletic department also released a statement about Shutes’ behavior the following day, saying, “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.”
“Because the incident occurred after the game, jurisdiction falls in the hands of local authorities, and we are cooperating fully with their process,” the athletic department added. “To be respectful of that process, we will not comment further until it is complete.”
It is unknown what exactly led to Shutes punching Brett, but the Memphis Commerical Appeal did report that Shutes was elbowed in the face late in the first half of the game.