Normally, there aren’t much fireworks in a game between a pair of Ohio Valley Conference squads who each have 7-16 records. But college basketball always finds a way to deliver, even in a game such as this.
Late in the first half during the Eastern Illinois vs. Lindenwood game on Wednesday night, an EIU player threw down a vicious dunk to bring their deficit to just one point. However, while that player, junior forward Nick Ellington, put a posterizing dunk down on Lindenwood, EIU’s leading scorer, Kinyon Hodges, wandered over to a fan sitting sideline and tried to wallop him with an open-hand smack. Hodges got about 180º of motion in the swing of that slap too, because he really cocked back to try and assault this guy sitting upfront.
Here was the video of the incident:
Video of college hoops player slapping fan
As Field of 68 notes, the announcers and even the referees got so caught up in the actual play that they missed Hodges openly smack a member of the crowd. But after Hodges’ slap, the victim, along with the guy sitting next to him, both stood up and pleaded with the referee to take notice of what had just happened. He then hesitantly called a technical foul on Hodges, who didn’t push back on the call. I mean, how could he? Hodges reared back and tried to slap the snot out of a fan. An NBA player was suspended for a whole season over a similar event. Frankly, Hodges is lucky to leave with just the T.
Lindenwood went on to ball out in the name of their disrespected fan. In the second half, the Lions ran away from Eastern Illinois to eventually win 80-67 to avenge their loss to EIU earlier in the season. The win also broke a seven-game losing streak for Lindenwood while handing EIU their fifth loss in a row. This pair of OVC clubs are fighting for last place in the conference and both teams are currently the bottom two in the conference according to KenPom, and rank nearly dead last in the country.
So you can see why some players may be angry enough on the court to go and slap opposing fans.