It was a wild ending to a wild game Saturday as Norfolk State stormed back from a 24-point deficit to defeat Howard University.
After the game, things got out of hand as the two teams got involved in a massive on-court melee that had coaches and security guards trying to break it up and fans throwing things at players.
The Howard home court crowd was not pleased.
After Howard let a 22 pts lead slip away, coaches and players from Howard and Norfolk State engage in a heated brawl pic.twitter.com/RDSpfYNufT
— Tramel Raggs (@Raggs_No_Riches) February 2, 2019
Howard had jumped out to a 45-30 halftime lead and increased that lead to 24 points with 17 minutes left before Norfolk staged a huge comeback.
Norfolk slowly chipped away and took the lead for the first and only time when Mastadi Pit hit two free throws with 2.1 seconds left to give Norfolk an 80-78 win.
“Make two free throws,” Pitt said to himself, reported the The Virginian-Pilot. “Don’t even worry about the crowd. Just make two like I do at practice.”
After the game, the two teams got into a scuffle and it’s not clear from reports how it started — perhaps just overflowing frustration from blowing a huge lead.
An on-court brawl broke out Saturday after Norfolk State’s 80-78 win at Howard in Washington. pic.twitter.com/RkSoJMWAWS
— David Hall (@DavidHallVP) February 2, 2019
Players were pushing and shoving, while some had to be restrained.
Coaches and security were on the floor trying to break it up.
Even some fans came out of the stands to jump into the melee.
One of the videos shows a fan throw garbage at one of the Norfolk players.
Jordan Butler, who tied the game in the final seconds with a dunk, led Norfolk with 21 points.
“I was just trying to get away from it, honestly,” Butler said, talking about the fight.
“I know I have a target on my back.”
Howard officials released a statement about the fight.
“The altercation at the end of the game was unfortunate. Physical altercations or any form of unsportsmanlike conduct is not reflective of our values at Howard. We will review the tape, as well as forward a copy to the conference office, to determine what disciplinary actions need to be taken,” school officials said.
Norfolk State improved to 13-10 and remains undefeated in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference at 8-0.
Howard fell to 10-13 and 4-4 in the conference.
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