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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

East Carolina’s Shamarr Bowden apologizes after punching UTEP guard in the face

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

Saturday night's Conference USA matchup between UTEP and East Carolina featured two of the best and worst sights college basketball can provide.

The positive one was the image of UTEP players celebrating at mid-court after McKenzie Moore nailed a three-pointer as time expired to lift the Miners to a 68-67 victory. The negative one came earlier in the second half when East Carolina guard Shamarr Bowden lost his composure and punched UTEP's Konner Tucker in the face.

After Bowden and Tucker got tangled beneath the basket jostling for position and fell to the ground, the UTEP player tried to get up and run down court while Bowden was still on top of him. Bowden took offense to that and struck Tucker with a hard left hand to the chin as he was still lying defenseless on the ground.

Referees ejected Bowden, depriving East Carolina (12-7) of one of its top shooters off the bench for the final 12 minutes of the game. East Carolina has yet to announce whether it will discipline Bowden further, but it would be a surprise to see the senior in uniform when the Pirates host Conference USA-leading Memphis on Wednesday.

To his credit, Bowden apologized directly to Tucker on Twitter after he was unable to find the UTEP guard after the game.

"That's not who I am," Bowden wrote. "I am bigger than that and it was out of character of me. I was confused at the moment of what was going on. Hope you accept my apology and good luck with the rest of yalls season."

Tucker's tweets are protected, so it's unclear if he responded. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt in a scary incident that probably could have been much worse than it turned out to be.

(Thanks, @DanWolken and @MattNorlander)

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