BYU’s Atiki Ally Atiki Throws Punch At Arizona State Player
Nov 24, 2023, 1:48 AM | Updated: 9:13 am
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball took down Arizona State 77-49 to improve to 5-0. But the game ended on a sour note.
Forward Atiki Ally Atiki threw a punch at Arizona State big man Akil Watson with 33.8 seconds remaining in the game.
Just BYU and Arizona State throwing punches at 2:30am on Thanksgiving, nothing to see here pic.twitter.com/UMe7nSjyDW
— The Field of 68 (@TheFieldOf68) November 24, 2023
Immediately after Atiki made contact with Watson’s face, Watson stood up and appeared ready to escalate the physical exchange even further. Before Watson could reach Atiki, who was on the ground, BYU head coach Mark Pope broke it up.
One of the new rules in college basketball this year is that coaches can step onto the floor to break up a melee between players.
During that sequence, BYU forward Noah Waterman stepped onto the floor. He didn’t engage in the fighting.
Officials huddled to review what had happened. Both Atiki and Waterman were ejected from the game.
Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley told his team to head into the locker room before the final seconds of the game ran off. So, there was no postgame handshake between the players. Pope and Hurley had a handshake after the game wrapped up.
The question for BYU now centers on the availability of Atiki and Waterman for Friday night against NC State (8 p.m., ESPN2 & KSL NewsRadio).
Pope, in his postgame interview with Greg Wrubell and Mark Durant on the BYU Sports Network, said that they will get more insight on Friday morning when referees on the East Coast get a chance to review the sequence of events.
Atiki Ally Atiki is one of the few healthy players BYU currently has at the five spot. The other is starter Fousseyni Traore. Charlotte transfer center Aly Khalifa is currently sidelined due to an injury.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.
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