A basketball exhibition game between Georgetown University and China’s Bayi Rockets in Beijing ended after a melee between the two squads.
“Tonight, two great teams played a very competitive game that unfortunately ended after heated exchanges with both teams,” Hoyas coach John Thompson III said in a statement on the Washington-based school’s website. “We sincerely regret that this situation occurred.”
The Hoyas, facing the Rockets of the Chinese Basketball Association at Olympic Sports Center Stadium, were in China on a goodwill trip and playing their second game in two nights.
The contest was halted with 9 minutes, 32 seconds remaining and the score tied 64-64 after it “deteriorated into a melee during which players exchanged blows, chairs were thrown and spectators tossed full water bottles at Hoyas players and coaches headed to the locker room,” the Washington Post reported on its website.
An unidentified person threw a chair at Hoyas senior center Henry Sims, and freshman forward Moses Ayegba walked onto the court with a chair in his hand, though school officials said Ayegba had been struck and grabbed the chair in self-defense, the newspaper said.
The fight was the second time benches cleared during the game, the Post said, adding that Georgetown was called for 28 fouls and Bayi 11 by halftime.
The Hoyas, scheduled to be in China for 10 days, were to depart for Shanghai tomorrow morning, though it was unclear whether the trip would continue, the Post said.
“We remain grateful for the opportunity our student-athletes are having to engage in a sport they love here in China, while strengthening their understanding of a nation we respect and admire at Georgetown University,” Thompson said.