HONOLULU, Hawaii — A scuffle following the end of WVU’s 59-56 victory over Hawaii marred the trip the Mountaineers women’s basketball team made to the islands over the weekend.
Reports in the Honolulu Star Advertiser indicate a University of Hawaii fan came out of the stands to confront someone on the WVU bench. Mountaineers coach Mike Carey told the paper the fan had been heckling the team the entire game.
“He came down from the stands trying to go after my assistant coach,” Carey told the Star Register. “That’s what happened. Then someone grabbed him and stopped him. He kept trying to go, and people fell. That’s when the commotion started.”
Carey told the paper that his wife fainted during the fracas. The paper indicated Cheryl Carey recovered while on site and was healthy.
WVU athletics director Oliver Luck released a statement Monday morning:
“I have spoken to the University of Hawaii Director of Athletics as well as with our women’s basketball head coach and team administrator. Our team is currently traveling back from Hawaii, and we are in the process of obtaining more facts about the unfortunate incident that took place after the game and prior to the trophy presentation. We will continue to work with the University of Hawaii officials to gather all the facts and bring the situation to a close.”
University of Hawaii athletic director Ben Jay was injured while trying to break up the fight. The Star Advertiser reported Jay was hit in the back and suffered severe back spasms. He was treated at the site by UH medical personnel.
“We were getting ready to do the awards ceremony and I saw the fight break out in the corner,” Jay told the paper. “I (went) over there to try and help break it up. We were just trying to peel people off and keep people from swinging. And then I got hit with something in the back.”
Jay released a statement Monday afternoon:
“We apologize to our fans and our visitors from West Virginia for the unfortunate incident that occurred following our women’s basketball game last night. We’re pleased that no one was seriously injured and we appreciate those who assisted with keeping it from escalating further. We will speak to the parties involved and take the appropriate action to address this particular situation and help avoid future incidents. Until all facts are gathered, we will have no further comment on this matter.”
The Mountaineers contingent managed to get on the bus and leave the arena. The team will return to Morgantown today after winning three games in the Rainbow Wahine Classic.
There’s some footage of the incident at the 2:33:00 mark of the video.