A New Mexico State University basketball player was ejected Thursday from his school’s game with Liberty University after he punched an opposing player in the face.
Aggies forward Robert Carpenter was tossed out after the punch sent Liberty forward Shiloh Robinson to the floor at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico, according to ESPN.
NMSU coach Jason Hooten said Carpenter — a junior forward from Detroit — will sit out at least one game because of the incident.
Video showed the two men jostling for position under the basket as an Aggies player tried a 3-point shot that bounced off the rim far from either player.
As the Flames took possession of the ball and both teams began to move down the court, Robinson appeared to bump Carpenter.
Carpenter, without breaking stride, threw a right hand that caught the senior forward in the face. Robinson went to the floor as play stopped.
HOLY SMOKES!!!! pic.twitter.com/HEj6GYZlZG
— Emily Austen (@emilyaustenTV) February 2, 2024
Carpenter was hit with a flagrant foul 2 and ejected.
Robinson left the game after the incident and did not return, according to the New York Post.
After the 79-73 overtime win over Liberty — a private Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia — NMSU’s Hooten said he had not yet seen video of the incident but offered an apology to Flames coach Ritchie McKay, according to ESPN.
The incident was “not acceptable,” he said.
“That’s not the way that we’re going to do things here at New Mexico State University,” Hooten said.
New Mexico St. has got to be one of the most interesting teams in the country. It seems every year trouble just follows them. Today Robert Carpenter decided to throw a punch at a Liberty player which led to him being ejected.
— Sidelines-Cbb (@CbbhoopsUpdates) February 2, 2024
The coach called Carpenter “a really good kid” while adding, “There’s just no room, no room for that in the game, at all.”
Hooten said Conference USA is likely to suspend Carpenter for at least one game but he is already taking action.
“My rule is he won’t play on Saturday,” the coach said, referencing the team’s next game against Jacksonville State.
Carpenter is in his first year at New Mexico State after transferring from Mississippi Valley State. He also played for St. Bonaventure.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.