Punch thrown at end of Memphis-Bowling Green women’s NIT game, player charged with assault
Memphis guard Jamirah Shutes was charged with assault after hitting Bowling Green senior guard Elissa Brett in the face following the team's 73-60 victory over the Tigers in the women’s NIT Super 16 on Thursday night.
After the final buzzer, players and coaches gathered to participate in the customary handshake line when Shutes stopped and exchanged words with Brett.
The 23-year-old Shutes, the team's leading scorer, then punched Brett in the face and was pulled away from the incident by the Memphis coaching staff.
Brett, who scored 15 points in the victory, fell to the ground by the scorer's table before being assisted by her team's staff and players.
"The incident that took place following tonight's home WNIT game has been turned over to the BGSU Police Department," the school said in a statement. "Bowling Green State University Athletics does not make comments about active police investigations. Our priority is with the health, safety and support of our student-athletes."
According to an incident report obtained by USA TODAY Sports, the Bowling Green State University police investigated the incident and said the Memphis player struck Brett with a closed fist and she sustained "some swelling in their right eye" from the punch.
Authorities reviewed the evidence, including taking photos of injuries sustained by Brett and interviewing witnesses. Shutes, whose name was listed in the incident report suspect list, was subsequently charged with assault.
Bowling Green head coach Robyn Fralich said after the game the team was "figuring all those things out" to find out what occurred in the handshake line.
“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," a statement from the Memphis athletics department said. "Because the incident occurred after the game, jurisdiction falls in the hands of local authorities, and we are cooperating fully with their process. To be respectful of that process, we will not comment further until it is complete.”
Bowling Green is set to play Florida on March 27 in the WNIT's Great 8.
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
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Punch thrown following Memphis-Bowling Green WNIT game