Court storm clashes with tussle amid NMSU players, Utah Valley fans
It got ugly briefly on the court out in the WAC Thursday night. What some have feared about court storms came true.
Critics of court-storming have often cited the inevitability that, some day, a losing player is going to be ticked off enough and be coerced into tossing a punch amid the mob scene.
That's exactly what appears to happen in the videos above, which comes from the ending of Thursday night's game between New Mexico State and Utah Valley. The teams entered the night tied atop the WAC, but after Utah Valley's 66-61 overtime win, fans of the home team fled to the floor, and in the second video you can see one player in a maroon uniform toss a punch amid the scrum. That player is wearing the No. 25, which corresponds to Renaldo Dixon's number.
In the top video, as you can see, the whole incident starts after a direct and hard toss of the basketball by New Mexico State's K.C. Ross-Miller toward Utah Valley's Holton Hunsaker. That prompted an on-court skirmish between the teams that spilled over into the rumpus as fans took over a large portion of the court.
It's unclear as of now whether/how many punches landed, but you can clearly see arms flying in the videos above.
The screengrab below, provided via Deadspin's Tim Burke, shows New Mexico State guard Daniel Mullings as the player in the center of the scuffle. Mullings needed two older men to physically remove him from the court.
It's unclear whether/how Utah Valley fans or New Mexico State players started what -- it's just a mess, and an embarrassment, and this is the exact thing people have worried about for years. This very week our own Gary Parrish brought it up on a column on court storming.
Another video was passed along from floor level, and you can hear the boos coming from the crowd toward NMSU players as the fights quickly dissipated.
Utah Valley is now 17-10 and 11-3 in the WAC. New Mexico State, which has represented the WAC in three of the past four NCAA tournaments, is 10-4 in the league and 21-9 on the season.
Top video via Jeff Eisenberg. Third video via Provo Daily Herald sports editor Jared Lloyd. (H/T, NBC Sports)
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