Ohio State and Northwestern get scrappy, two ejected
FEB 19, 2014 9:14p ET
(H/t: Land-Grant Holy Land)
Some people just can't take getting manhandled on a box-out! But then again, this is Big Ten basketball and things are going to get physical.
Ohio State was up 66-50 with 5:24 to play when Cerina threw a punch at Amir Williams and whiffed. Nonetheless, Cerina was ejected from the game. LaQuinton Ross came into the fray late pushing two Northwestern players and earning him an ejection, as well. A total of 10 free throws were shot because of the dust-up — a double foul, two technicals against Ross and one against Cerina.
Oh, yeah . . . the No. 24 Buckeyes won the game 76-60 — thanks in large part to Ross' 16 points.
LaQuinton, next time a simple "scoreboard" should suffice.
According to Ohio State's Associate Athletics Director of Communications, Dan Wallenberg, Ross will not be suspended.
LaQuinton Ross was disqualified from the game tonight vs. NW for 2 deadball contact technical fouls. He will not be penalized further.— Dan Wallenberg (@OSUADAthComm) February 20, 2014
Cerina, on the other hand, will miss Northwestern's next game, Saturday at home against Indiana.
Northwestern's Nikola Cerina was disqualified for fighting, swinging at Amir Williams with a closed fist. He is disqualified for NWs next gm— Dan Wallenberg (@OSUADAthComm) February 20, 2014
Throwing a punch? That's a no-no.
Lead official Ray Perone released a statement on the incident after the game.
"By rule, No. 45 [Nikola Cerina] for Northwestern after he committed the common foul, a push on No. 23 [Amir Williams], took a swing with a closed fist or closed hand at No. 23 for Ohio State. That act is deemed to be fighting by rule, which is Rule 10, Section 5, Article 8: 'Any time an individual uses a closed fist in an unsportsmanlike manner it shall be deemed that the individual has initiated a fighting act and be penalized accordingly.' He does not have to make contact — the fact he swings with a closed fist is deemed to be a fighting act. No. 45 for Northwestern was disqualified for fighting and that carries a penalty [Rule 10, Section 5, Article 11]: 'The first time an individual participates in a fight during the season the individual shall be suspended from participating in the team's next regular season game.' No. 10 [LaQuinton Ross] for Ohio State was disqualified for two deadball contact technical fouls, which results in disqualification. No. 10 was not disqualified for fighting and will not be suspended for the next game."
After the game, Cerina spoke with reporters.
"Things happen," Cerina said, according to The Associated Press. "I don't really know. I have to look at the tape and see what actually happened."
Ross was not available to speak with reporters, according to The Associated Press.
But Northwestern coach Chris Collins was, and said it could have been much worse:
"I didn't see it," Collins told The Associated Press. "I saw a lot of bodies. Sometimes you see a lot of pushing and grabbing. I personally didn't see any punches, but that doesn't mean there weren't any thrown. I trust what the referees said. They got the fouls on us, the fouls on them — and then we played on."
Especially when you consider what happened with 2:51 to play.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report