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VIDEO: East Carolina player ejected, suspended for throwing punches

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

It's an ugly, unsettling site to see a player straight-up throwing a punch against an opponent, especially when the victim is sitting in a helpless position and a blindsided by the swing. And then the second swing.

That's what East Carolina's Shamarr Bowden can be seen doing to UTEP's Konner Tucker in the video above. An actual 1-2 punch. The incident came during Saturday's game between the teams, which UTEP won at the buzzer on a 3-pointer 68-67.

Bowden, a senior guard who averages 5.8 points, was ejected. On Monday afternoon ECU announced it was suspending Bowden for one game and that Conference USA accepted Pirates coach Jeff Lebo's punishement.

"I'm very disappointed in Shamarr's actions Saturday night," Lebo said in a statement. "There is no place for that in our sport and we don't tolerate it in our program. His behavior was very uncharacteristic, but unfortunately he let his emotions get the best of him. Shamarr is very remorseful about his conduct and understands the consequences. I know he'll use this as a constructive learning experience to become a better player and better man.”

Bowden has been in trouble before and has been suspended previously. He was arrested last April for "criminal possession of a loaded weapon and prohibited use of a firearm" after he allegedly "fired several shots into the air" at an Easter-weekend party.

After the game, Bowden took to Twitter not to rant or validate his action, but personally apologize to Tucker.

Bowden followed that up with an apology in a prepared statement Monday.

"I apologize to Konner (Tucker) for my actions Saturday night. I also apologize to the Miners, my coaches, my teammates, fellow students and the fans. I'm deeply sorry for losing my composure and not controlling my emotions. In the future I will continue to compete hard and display better sportsmanship toward everyone."

East Carolina's next game is arguably its biggest of the season: at home Wednesday vs. Conference USA-leading Memphis.

(Thanks to Dan Wolken for passing along the video.)

For more college basketball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCBB on Twitter, like us on Facebook and subscribe to the thrice-a-week podcast on iTunes. You can follow Matt Norlander on Twitter here: @MattNorlander.

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