A fight that broke out during the Eastern New Mexico University men’s basketball game on Jan. 19 caused more than half of the ENMU men’s basketball team to be ejected from the game.
Eastern was playing against the Texas A&M-Commerce Lions when two players got into a physical altercation with one another during the first half of the game. Seconds later, Greyhound team members on the bench rushed out to the court in defense of their teammates, resulting in most of the team being ejected from the game.
Head Coach Tres Segler’s said, “Their player, Tyree Robinson, cheap shot Deng Kuany with a couple of elbows; one was in the neck and one was in the cheek.”
Segler said to get away from the player on the opposing team, Kuany pushed the player away from him.
“I thought that it was Deng protecting himself. The first thing that Deng did after the altercation happened was put his hands up and stand back,” said Segler.
As the college basketball ruling has it, when players on the bench go onto the basketball court, they are ejected from the game. The Lions bench didn’t rush to the court, which caused them not to be ejected.
According to Segler, Texas A&M-Commerce Lion Tyree Robinson reacted aggressively against Kuany, which resulted in knocking over one of the referees.
“That young man (was) kind of going crazy and in suit, after that he kind of lost his mind,” said Segler. “He threw a referee down and was really out of control. It is our understanding that Tyree could possibly be looking at being taken out of the league. His punishment is far worse because his actions afterwards.”
For the remainder of the game, the Greyhounds were outnumbered five to four. With the team already down eight players due to injury, another four players were ejected leaving the team vulnerable. Guards Nick Brown, Mangistu Jongkor, Devin Pullum and Isaiah Murphy played the rest of the game with no substitutes. The Greyhounds ended the game with a 112-99 loss.
Kuany was not only ejected from that game but had to sit out the next game, according to Segler.
“We learned how to handle situations like that, and as a team, we know now that any incident that goes on, not to step on the court. I felt like we gave away games we should have won, and all we can do is learn from it,” said Segler. “Our guys kept playing hard, and we continued like it was normal. Once you see what it is, your only choice is to shrink away the moment or rise to it, and I think that all of us rose to the occasion. It was very clear that our guys had each other’s back.”
Lions Coach Jaret von Rosenberg could not be reached for comment.
The Greyhounds will face the Lions again on Feb. 21.