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Officials from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Southern and Texas Southern are evaluating a brawl between those two schools women’s basketball teams in a game Saturday night in Houston.
The brawl, which involved cheerleaders and spectators, came while the Jaguars held a 51-49 lead with 12:36 left, and caused a double-forfeit, giving Southern a victory and a share of the regular-season title. Both teams finished the regular season 16-2.
The Tigers will be the No. 1 seed in the tournament by virtue of having outscored Southern in two meetings. They won the first meeting 62-48 on Jan. 5 in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Southern is the No. 2 seed and both teams will begin play in the SWAC tournament Wednesday.
The question yet to be answered is which players will be unavailable because of their involvement in the brawl. SWAC officials were evaluating the incident Sunday and did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Southern athletic director William Broussard, who attended Saturday’s game, was compiling a report to file with the conference office.
Texas Southern issued a statement on the incident Sunday morning.
“At Texas Southern University we hold our student-athletes to high standards in regards to sportsmanship and personal conduct,” TSU director of athletics Dr. Charles McClelland said in the statement.
“An unfortunate incident occurred during the second half of our women’s basketball game with Southern University that undoubtedly does not reflect the core values and principles that we expect our student-athletes to exhibit at all times. Both institutions along with the conference office are in the process of reviewing the incident and gathering additional information.”
Southern begins SWAC tournament play against seventh-seeded Grambling at noon Wednesday in the Toyota Center in Houston. The Jaguars and the Tigers split their regular-season meetings as the home team won each time.
Southern and TSU need to win two games each in the tournament to set up a rematch of Saturday’s contest in the tourney final this Saturday. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, but the Jaguars are on NCAA probation so if they win the tourney the runner-up will get the NCAA bid.
The Southern men, who fell to 13-5 with an 88-78 loss at Texas Southern on Saturday, are the No. 3 seed. The Jaguars will begin tourney play against sixth-seeded Alabama A&M at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Southern swept the regular-season meetings.