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No. 1-ranked South Carolina remained undefeated with a 79-72 win over LSU in the SEC Tournament championship game Sunday, but its victory was marred by a brawl late in the fourth quarter that saw multiple players from both teams ejected and a fan arrested for coming onto the court. 

"I just want to apologize to the basketball community," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. "When you are playing in championship games like this in our league, things get heated. No bad intentions. Their emotions got so far ahead of them. Sometimes these things happen. I want to apologize for us playing a part in that. That's not who we are and that's not what we are about."

With just over two minutes remaining, South Carolina's MiLaysia Fulwiley stole the ball from LSU guard Flau'jae Johnson, and Johnson responded by grabbing her out of frustration to stop the fast break. Multiple players from South Carolina arrived on the scene, including Ashlyn Watkins, whom Johnson shoved away. 

Gamecocks center Kamilla Cardoso then escalated proceedings by decking Johnson to the ground, and both benches cleared. 

A fan also jumped over the scorer's table during the incident and was later identified by the ESPN broadcast as Johnson's brother. He was later escorted away by police in handcuffs and arrested, again according to the broadcast. 

After a lengthy review, the referees called an intentional foul on Johnson and ejected Cardoso for fighting. Furthermore, both benches were ejected from the game except for South Carolina's Sania Feagin, who did not leave the bench and Te-Hina Paopao, who was at the scorer's table waiting to check in. 

As a result, LSU finished the game with five players: Johnson, Angel Reese, Hailey Van Lith, Aneesah Morrow and Mikaylah Williams, while South Carolina finished with six players: Fulwiley, Watkins, Feagin, Paopao, Bree Hall and Raven Johnson. 

Cardoso will be suspended for the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but all other players ejected for leaving the bench will not face a suspension. 

"We've always talked about it," Staley said. "Never leave the bench. Never get too high with the highs or low with the lows. It is hard when you're playing … your emotions get the best of you. It's unfortunate that the players who we're ejected can't be part of the celebration."