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Jeff Eisenberg

Bench-clearing scuffle sparks Texas A&M past Arkansas

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

It's fitting that a rugged Texas A&M team known for its physicality would respond so well to a fight.

A bench-clearing scuffle erupted just over two minutes into the second half of Saturday's matchup between Texas A&M and Arkansas, shaking the Aggies from their game-long slumber and sparking a much-needed rally. Texas A&M stormed back from a nine-point deficit and emerged with a 71-62 overtime victory to sustain the program's momentum from an upset victory over Washington the previous week.

The skirmish started when Arkansas' Jeff Peterson crashed into Dash Harris going for a steal as the Texas A&M guard picked up his dribble just across mid-court and attempted to signal for a timeout. Texas A&M's Khris Middleton and Nathan Walkup shoved Peterson away, leading players from both sides to convene by the scorer's table at mid-court as coaches tried frantically to pull them apart.

It did not appear that either team threw any punches, but technicals were called on Peterson and Walkup and backups Marvell Waithe of Arkansas and Kourtney Roberson of Texas A&M were ejected for leaving their respective benches. Referees stopped the game for roughly 10 minutes to review the incident.

"I was right there in the middle of it," Walkup told the Dallas Morning News. "I thought the guy was saying something to Dash, so I got him out of the way. Then it blew up ... Coach said we couldn't start a fight every game ... but I think that helped us out."

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