The Northeast Convention males’s championship recreation between Bryant and Wagner was considerably delayed throughout the second half Tuesday evening after a big battle broke out within the stands behind the Wagner bench.
The sport, at Bryant’s Chace Athletic Heart in Smithfield, Rhode Island, got here to a standstill for round half-hour after the skirmish broke out throughout a timeout with the Bulldogs main 68-32 with 4:37 to go.
The battle seemed to be between visiting Wagner followers and Bryant followers. A number of Wagner gamers needed to be restrained, however none of them appeared to make it into the stands. Wagner’s Will Martinez tried, although, and was the one participant ejected within the incident.
Bryant athletic director Invoice Smith grabbed the mic after some order was restored, laying out floor guidelines for the postgame. He stated Wagner gamers must depart the court docket earlier than followers rushed it.
Smith additionally stated followers can be faraway from the coed part of the stands. The Wagner fan part seemed to be principally cleared, together with the band, and some Bryant followers have been eliminated by regulation enforcement officers. Dad and mom and members of the family have been allowed again for the end, with police and safety serving as a buffer between Bryant college students and Wagner followers.
Finally, gamers for each groups returned to the court docket and completed up the sport, seemingly with out incident.
“I did not see any of it — how any of that factor began. All I knew is we would have liked to complete the sport in a first-class method,” Smith stated after the sport. “Get each groups again on the court docket, shake arms on the finish and end the sport.”
Smith stated it was a “very emotionally-charged recreation” and that the Bryant health club does not have a “pure barrier” for the visiting crew.
“Sadly I do not assume there was the rest we may have carried out that will have prevented what occurred,” he stated. “It is simply been an unimaginable evening and we will transfer on.”
Bryant received 70-43 to earn an computerized bid to the boys’s NCAA Event for the primary time.
“I don’t know the way it began, why it began, what came about,” Bryant coach Jared Grasso stated of the skirmish within the stands. “Fortunately our guys weren’t part of it.
“The sport ought to have been completed so these guys can rejoice with their followers. I do know there was some extent they have been speaking about clearing the followers out. I stated, ‘We’re not telling these followers to depart.’
“We’ve offered out the final (4) residence video games. Children are sitting exterior at 9 o’clock within the morning for tickets at 12:30. There are individuals who drove seven hours to be at this recreation. They’re not leaving – it is not taking place.”
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Bryant vs. Wagner NEC title recreation delayed as battle breaks out in stands