Kamilla Cardoso Among Players Ejected After South Carolina-LSU Scuffle on Video

Kamilla Cardoso Among Players Ejected After South Carolina-LSU Scuffle on Video

GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA - MARCH 10: Kamilla Cardoso #10 of the South Carolina Gamecocks and Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Lady Tigers start the game with a jump ball in the first quarter during the championship game of the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 10, 2024 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Eakin Howard/Getty Images

Tensions were bound to be high for Sunday’s championship game in the SEC women’s basketball tournament, but that spilled over into physical confrontation in the final minutes with South Carolina holding a 73-66 lead over LSU.

Things started with a physical foul in the open court, which the Gamecocks took exception to and reacted accordingly.

Kamilla Cardoso came running over and dished out a shove, which earned an ejection. Things spilled over from the benches as well with coaches and staff members from both teams coming over in an effort to break up the fight:

ESPN @espn

LSU and South Carolina players got into a scuffle in the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship. pic.twitter.com/rXw1tb1jWM

Cardoso was far from the only player ejected, as everyone who left the bench was also kicked out.

Kyle Tucker of The Athletic and Alexa Philippou of ESPN illustrated the scene:

Kyle Tucker @KyleTucker_ATH

Wow, they ejected all the players who ran out in the floor for LSU and USC. An intentional foul on the Tigers, a DQ for fighting on one of the Gamecocks, a fan arrested and just five players left for each team!

Alexa Philippou @alexaphilippou

Remaining players for LSU:
Johnson, Reese, HVL, Williams, Morrow
For South Carolina:
Watkins, Fulwiley, Feagin, Hall, Raven Johnson
Everyone else has been ejected

Cardoso apologized after the game:

Kamilla_Cardoso @Kamillascsilva

I would like to extend my sincerest apologies for my actions during today’s game. My behavior was not representative of who I am as a person or the South Carolina program, and I deeply regret any discomfort or inconvenience it may have caused. I take full responsibility for my…

It was a physical game even before the chaos, as is often the case with rivalries. Cardoso and Angel Reese were not backing down from each other in the post, and the Tigers gave the undefeated Gamecocks quite the challenge.

That is far from a surprise considering LSU is the reigning national champion who doesn’t want to give up its crown. It also lost by just six and had the lead in the fourth quarter during the only regular-season matchup between the two SEC powerhouses.

The fight will have consequences for South Carolina, as ESPN’s broadcast noted Cardoso will be ineligible for the first round of the NCAA Tournament thanks to her ejection.

She is one of South Carolina’s go-to options and a double-double threat every time she steps on the floor. Still, the Gamecocks will be a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance and should have enough talent elsewhere to survive a matchup with a No. 16 seed without her.

“I want to apologize for us playing a part in that,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley told reporters. “That’s not who we are. That’s not what we are about.”

espnW @espnW

Dawn Staley spoke about the scuffle between LSU and South Carolina following the Gamecocks’ SEC championship win. pic.twitter.com/vnF8WD3boW

While the fight will make the most headlines, the Gamecocks won their second straight SEC tournament with the 79-72 victory. Cardoso was relatively quiet with eight points, six rebounds and three blocks, but MiLaysia Fulwiley exploded for 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from deep off the bench.

Reese (15 points and 13 rebounds) and Aneesah Morrow (19 points, 10 rebounds and four steals) notched double-doubles for the Tigers, but it wasn’t enough to earn the win.

Now both teams will turn their attention to the NCAA tournament, although South Carolina will be without one of its stars for the first round.

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