The calendar might have only just flipped over to March, but we’re already seeing madness. On Thursday night a game between UT Martin and SIUE had to be paused for 10 minutes while officials tried to determine who was getting ejected after this sucker punch.
Kick this kid off the team. Immediately. pic.twitter.com/BPh4HoXqmV— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) March 3, 2023
UT Martin forward Rifen Miguel was trying to move back into the frontcourt when his movement was impeded by DeeJaun Pruitt of SIUE. Neither player was willing to move out of each other’s way, resulting in Miguel being face-to-face with his opponent. The contact was pretty minimal at this point, and it was all dumb posturing — but without warning Pruitt sucker punched his opponent with a haymaker to the face.
Here’s the full video, including the aftermath — which included Jalen Myers of UT Martin also getting involved in retaliation for the punch landed on his teammate.
Here is everything that happened that led up to DeeJuan Pruitt throwing one of the worst sucker punches that you'll ever see in SIU-Edwardsville vs. UT Martin. Hopefully Rifen Miguel is ok. pic.twitter.com/I0l4QfXSMi— The Field of 68 (@TheFieldOf68) March 3, 2023
Miguel was bloodied in the brawl, though it’s unclear whether that was a result of the initial punch from Pruitt, or if he was hit in the ensuring fracas. Referees stopped the game for 10 minutes while they watched the tape, ultimately deciding that all three players would be tossed from the game.
It might seem unfair that UT Martin had two players ejected as a result when Pruitt started the incident, but other SIUE players did not get involved. It didn’t hurt the team too much though, as UT Martin went on to win 81-75.