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Five players and three fans were ejected from Thursday night’s game between southern lady and Arkansas State after a massive melee broke out in the first half in which players and coaches were knocked to the ground and several punches were thrown.

The skirmish caused a 23-minute delay in the second quarter while referees determined which players would likely be ejected from the game.

Domonique Davis during a Southern Miss game

Southern Miss Lady Eagles guard Domonique Davis, #2, during a women’s college basketball game between the Southern Miss Golden Eagles and the South Alabama Jaguars at the Mitchell Center in Mobile, Alabama. (Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The fight started when Arkansas State Forward Emma Imevbore grabbed a defensive rebound in traffic and tangled with Domonique Davis. Imevbore appeared to push Davis to the ground and then appeared to throw several punches at Brikayla Gray in front of the Southern Miss bench.

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Southern Miss forward Asjha Leake, who was on the bench at the time, appeared to jump along with several other players and tackled Imevbore to the ground by the neck.

Southern Miss assistant coach Jessica Barber was knocked down by the fight and was apparently trapped underneath the crash.

“This could get ugly, it has gotten ugly,” said one of the ESPN announcers.

As the fight was coming to an end, several fans came down from the stands and got involved.

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“I can’t really comment because I have to continue conference guidelines, I just think it’s very, very, very unfortunate. And I believe that from every incident you have in life, you learn. You may not like the consequences, but you’ll learn from them,” Southern Miss coach Joye Lee-McNelis said after the game.

Southern Miss coach Joye Lee-McNeils on the sidelines

Southern Miss women’s basketball head coach Joye Lee-McNeils in a women’s basketball game against UTEP on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas. (IMAGE)

“And I think that that, something that we don’t think we should have done, will not happen again. It will not happen again. We have to understand that every decision we make, wherever we are in life, will determine our future, whether it be tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or whenever.”

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Southern Miss’s Asjha Leake, Lani Cornfield, Domonique Davis and Brikayla Gray were ejected from the game. Imevbore and three fans were also ejected.

Despite the loss of three starters, Southern Miss beat Arkansas State 57-48.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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By Sam