Sunday night fights
West Virginia's women's basketball team had a perfect time of things during a three-day tournament in Hawaii.
Or at least that was the case until the final buzzer of the final game.
Following the Mountaineers' 59-56 win over Hawaii late Sunday night in the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic, a fight broke out behind the WVU bench. Several reports, including those by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, indicate it began with a fan who was heckling the team.
Hawaii's athletic director, Ben Jay, was hurt in the scuffle when he tried to intervene prior to the awards ceremony.
West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck issued a statement regarding the incident Monday.
"I have spoken to the University of Hawaii Director of Athletics as well as with our women's basketball head coach and team administrator,'' Luck said. "Our team is currently traveling back from Hawaii and we are in the process of obtaining more facts about the unfortunate incident that took place after the game and prior to the trophy presentation. We will continue to work with the University of Hawaii officials to gather all the facts and bring the situation to a close."
The Honolulu newspaper reported that Jay was hit in the back and was on the arena floor for 10 minutes following the incident.
"We were getting ready to do the awards ceremony and I saw the fight break out in the corner, so I just leaped over there to try and help break it up,'' Jay said.
"We were just trying to peel people off and keep everybody from swinging and everything. And then I got hit with something in the back. I guess I got a big bruise back there. I can't tell you.''
West Virginia coach Mike Carey said his wife fainted during the episode. He also talked about the heckler.
"He was heckling the whole game,'' Carey told the paper. "And people can do that, that's no biggie. He came down from the stands trying to go after my assistant coach. That's what happened. And then somebody grabbed him, stopped him and he kept trying to go, and people fell. That's when all the commotion started."
West Virginia's women won all three games during the tournament.
Prior to the Hawaii game, the Mountaineers had defeated Mississippi and Washington State.
Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay later issued a statement on the game:
"We apologize to our fans and our visitors from West Virginia for the unfortunate incident that occurred following our women's basketball game last night,'' the statement said.
"We're pleased that no one was seriously injured and we appreciate those who assisted with keeping it from escalating further. We will speak to the parties involved and take the appropriate action to address this particular situation and help avoid future incidents. Until all facts are gathered, we will have no further comment on this matter."