Memphis player charged with assault after Bowling Green player appears to get punched following WNIT game

BOWLING GREEN, OH - FEBRUARY 15:  The Nike Elite game ball with the Bowling Green logo is seen sitting on the baseline during a timeout during the fourth quarter of a Mid-American Conference regular season college womens basketball game between the Northern Illinois Huskies and the Bowling Green Falcons on February 15, 2023 at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio.  (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Bowling Green police have filed an assault charge after Memphis' Jamirah Shutes appeared to punch Bowling Green's Elissa Brett. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

An assault charge has been filed by the Bowling Green State University police after Memphis' Jamirah Shutes appeared to punch Bowling Green’s Elissa Brett in the head after the Falcons’ WNIT win on Thursday night.

As the teams walked to midcourse for the customary postgame handshake, Shutes stopped and spoke with Brett. After a brief conversation, she appeared to punch Brett and Brett fell toward the scorers table.

Shortly after the incident occurred, Bowling Green said the incident had been referred to university police and announced Friday morning that a player had been charged. Neither Shutes nor any other Memphis player was named in the release.

“Following Thursday’s unwarranted physical incident after the WNIT home game, the Bowling Green State University Police Department has charged a member of the Memphis women’s basketball team with assault," Bowling Green said. "Additionally, BGSU athletics is conducting its own review. Violence is never acceptable and our priority remains the health, safety and support of our student-athlete, who is recovering and doing well. This is an active investigation in conjunction with the City of Bowling Green prosecutor and no further comment is available at this time.”

Memphis released a statement Friday morning and said it was cooperating fully with police.

“The incident that occurred following Thursday’s women’s basketball game was extremely unfortunate and certainly not consistent with, or representative of, our expectations for our programs and student-athletes," Memphis said. "Because the incident occurred after the game, jurisdiction falls in the hands of local authorities and we are cooperating fully with their process. To be respectful of that process, we will not comment further until it’s complete.”

Thursday’s game was Shutes’ final game with the Tigers after she completed her fifth season with the program. She’s one of 27 players in Memphis history to score over 1,000 career points and was a second-team All-AAC selection this season as she led the Tigers with 15 points per game.

Brett has been Bowling Green’s leading scorer this season with nearly 15 points per game herself. The Australia native has played four seasons for the Falcons. Shutes had 13 points Thursday night while Brett had 15.

The win means Bowling Green will host Florida on Monday to advance to the semifinals of the tournament.