8 Florida, Kentucky players ejected after fight during SEC women's basketball tournament
Eight players were ejected during the Florida women's basketball team's loss to Kentucky on Wednesday in the SEC Tournament.
Midway through the second quarter, Kentucky's Jada Walker hit a layup to put the Wildcats up 20-14. While running back on defense, Ajae Petty rolled the ball up the face of Florida sophomore Tatyana Wyche. The Fort Lauderdale native responded by hurling the ball in Petty's direction.
After walking upcourt staring her down, Wyche ran after Petty appearing her ready her fist to punch her before being taken into the Kentucky bench. Gators and Wildcats players shouted at each other and were eventually separated.
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"Obviously that's not how we want to represent ourselves, as Florida women's basketball and in the competitive spirit," Florida coach Kelly Rae Finley said. "So first and foremost I apologize for that, because that is not representative of the SEC, University of Florida, or how we compete."
Wyche and Petty were each assigned technical fouls, and Wyche was ejected. Seven other players also were ejected for leaving the bench:
- Florida sophomore Taliyah Wyche (Tatyana's sister)
- Florida junior Ra Shaya Kyle
- Florida senior Faith Dut
- Kentucky freshman Saniyah Tyler
- Kentucky junior Eniya Russell
- Kentucky freshman Cassidy Rowe
- Kentucky freshman Zennia Thomas
Kyle was the Gators' leading rebounder on the season, averaging 6.2 boards per game. She and Dut led the team in blocks with 23.
"We had a lot of student athletes that were asked to do something that they had never done, and that's where I say I was pleased with how we competed and adjusted, you know, to do things that you practice sometimes for adverse situations," Finley said.
Kentucky won 72-57 to advance. Florida fell to 16-14 and is not expected to make the NCAA Tournament.
GatorSports reporter Kevin Brockway contributed to this report.