Kentucky-Florida scuffle clears benches; nine ejected in SEC women's tournament

Tensions rose during the Kentucky-Florida matchup of the first round of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament. Tatyana Wyche of the Florida Gators and Kentucky's Ajae Petty were at the center. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

University Florida and University of Kentucky's first-round SEC tournament matchup got pretty tense in the second quarter Wednesday, as both benches cleared following an exchange between Florida sophomore Tatyana Wyche and Kentucky forward Ajae Petty.

After Kentucky scored, Petty caught the ball and shoved it into Wyche's face, who was running back up the court. In response, Wyche launched the basketball toward the back of Petty's head. Although Wyche didn't connect, she proceeded to charge Petty. Chaos ensued, and both players had to be restrained. Nine players were ejected after the pandemonium, which reportedly delayed the game for 22 minutes.

Wyche was issued a technical and ejected after putting up 2 points and 2 rebounds in five minutes of playing time. Petty, a junior, was issued a technical but allowed to remain in the game. She recorded 4 points, 3 blocks and 2 rebounds.

Other videos show that Kentucky head coach Kyra Elzy lost one of her sparkly heeled shoes, and assistant coach Jen Hoover was knocked over. One fan even attempted to storm the court (they didn't make it there due to the efforts of two of their neighbors).

The Wildcats led 22-21 going into halftime and were able to complete a 72-57 upset of Florida after losing Eniya Russel, Saniah Tyler, Zennia Thomas and freshman guard Cassidy Rowe after the incident. Kentucky and Florida were both reportedly left with only seven players to finish the game. For Florida, Wyche, her sister, Taliyah, Zippy Broughton (injured) and starters Ra Shaya Kyle and Faith Dut were all reportedly ejected.

Senior Kentucky guard Robyn Benton scored 20 points in the effort, while senior Florida guard Nina Rickards led Florida with 19. The Gators advance to the second round and will face No. 6 Alabama on Thursday.

This story will be updated