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Brawl Ends Xavier-Cincinnati Basketball Game; Three Ejected

The college basketball game between Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati was stopped with 9.4 seconds left yesterday after a brawl broke out between the crosstown rivals. Three players were ejected.

Xavier won the game, which was televised by ESPN, 76-53 at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati. The Musketeers are ranked No. 8 in both the Associated Press and ESPN Coaches polls.

The fight began when Xavier’s Tu Holloway and Cincinnati’s Ge’Lawn Guyn stood chest-to-chest shouting at each other. Xavier’s Dezmine Wells then shoved Guyn leading to both benches emptying.

“I felt disrespected for them guys to come at me and talk like that, so I let the whole staff over there and let their players know that none of them is like me,” Holloway told reporters. “That’s when it started.”

As both teams’ coaches tried to break up the fight, Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates punched Xavier’s Kenny Frease, knocking the 7-foot, 275-pound center to the floor and leaving his face bloodied. While he was down, he was kicked by Cincinnati’s Cheikh Mbodj.

The Atlantic 10 said that Gates, Mbodj and Xavier’s Wells, were listed as ejected.

“There’s no excuse for any of them, on our side, on their side,” Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin told reporters. Guys need to grow up. “You’ve got to learn how to win on one side, you’ve got to learn how to lose on the other side. I’ve never been so embarrassed.”

Mark Lyons led Xavier (8-0) with 19 points, Holloway scored 17 and Frease had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Gates had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Cincinnati (5-3).

“The crime of it was for 39-and-a-half minutes, it was probably one of the cleaner crosstown shootouts” in terms of hard fouls and pileups for loose balls, Xavier coach Chris Mack told reporters.

Last night, University of Cincinnati President Gregory H. Williams issued a statement saying the school would investigate the fight.

“We hold our student-athletes to a high standard, and this behavior will not be tolerated,” Williams said.

Xavier President Rev. Michael J. Graham said in a statement that the team’s behavior “has no place in intercollegiate athletics.”

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