One New Mexico fan allowed his emotions to get the best of him Wednesday night when he pushed UNLV guard Anthony Marshall during the second half of a tight game at The Pit.
UNLV has been one of New Mexico's most bitter rivals for years and is even more so these days now that the Lobos no longer play Utah and Brigham Young each year. But that is never an excuse for a fan to get physical with a player.
Marshall leaped into a group of photographers along the baseline chasing a loose ball at about the 13:35 mark of the second half. One of the fans he came near pushed him away, but Marshall didn't make contact with the fan first.
Fortunately, Marshall, a senior, just gave the fan a death stare instead of retaliating with a shove of his own or worse. He handled the situation well considering he had done nothing to deserve having a fan push him.
Veteran official Verne Harris was working the game and immediately calmed the situation by getting between Marshall and the fans. Harris moved players back to the court and then instructed stadium security to eject the fan.
Harris took some heat last week for making the call at Arizona that nullified an apparent game-winning 3-pointer from Colorado sending the game to overtime where the Buffs lost to the Wildcats. But Harris clearly got this call right. Fans shouldn't put their hands on players unless in its self defense in those instances when players come bounding into the crowd chasing loose balls.
Marshall was on the losing end at the end of the night, but he played well, finishing with seven points, nine assists and seven rebounds. He also fouled out.
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