NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Auburn forward Jordon Granger was ejected in the second half of an SEC tournament quarterfinal matchup Friday afternoon after he tussled with LSU forward Jordan Mickey and threw a punch that appeared to graze the back of Mickey's head.
After the play, Mickey put his hands up and moved toward Granger as officials rushed to break up the skirmish. Multiple players from both teams approached as officials separated Mickey and Granger. The two continued to argue before both returned to their benches and officials checked the replay monitors.
Granger was given a flagrant 2 foul and ejected from the game, while Mickey earned a technical foul for his actions. Granger, who is averaging 4.8 points per game for Auburn, will be subject to an automatic one-game suspension per NCAA rules on players who are ejected for fighting.
Mickey told ESPN.com after the game that he was surprised when Granger threw the punch.
"We ended up getting tangled up," Mickey said. "I tried to get my arm free and run down the court. When I turned around to go back down the court, he ended up swinging. And the refs kind of separated us. ... That's part of the game. It had just been a physical game. That's natural. That's basketball."
Auburn, the No. 13 seed in the SEC tournament, beat LSU 73-70 in overtime to advance to the conference semifinals against No. 1 Kentucky.
Auburn's KT Harrell, who hit the game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation, said Granger's ejection ultimately helped the Tigers.
"I think it turned us up a little bit defensively," Harrell said. "He's one of our best defensive players, if not the best defensive player we have. To see him go out, we knew we had to pick it up defensively for him, not having him out there. So I think we did a much better job defensively and talking and communicating when he left the game."