HOUSTON -- Southern and Texas Southern were battling for the Southwest Conference women's basketball regular-season title Saturday night when a bench-clearing fight broke out midway through the second half.
Officials ruled the game a double forfeit.
Southern was leading 51-49 at the time, and the league's official Twitter feed said the score would stand and the teams would share the regular-season title with 16-2 records.
"I've been involved with basketball for 30-plus years and I've never seen anything like this. It's an embarrassment." Southern coach Sandy Pugh
Southern coach Sandy Pugh told The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where the visiting Jaguars are located, "I've been involved with basketball for 30-plus years and I've never seen anything like this. It's an embarrassment."
The report said the brawl broke out after Texas Southern's Miracle Davis took a charge. Players, cheerleaders and fans were reportedly involved, and punches were thrown as security rushed to the court.
"I just saw two kids standing up looking at each other and someone else push and yell," Pugh said. "My first reaction is to tell everyone to stay. But I look up and they have two kids running in. One of their kids throws the first punch and one of our kids was on the ground and someone was just pounding her. Next thing I know it was a melee."
The players throwing punches were TSU's Alexus Johnson and Diamonisha Sophus, the report said, with security holding Johnson back minutes later from storming into the Southern locker room to resume the brawl.
Southern (18-10) entered the night a game behind Texas Southern (19-10). However, Texas Southern enters the SWAC tournament as the No. 1 seed.
Cortnei Purnell had 16 points for Southern. Kendra Coleman and Jasmine Jefferson added 11 apiece.
Sophus hit a half-court shot before the halftime buzzer to trim Southern's lead to 42-36.