Kim Mulkey says referees played a hand in late-game fight

After Sunday’s SEC Championship scuffle, in which six South Carolina and LSU players were ejected, LSU coach Kim Mulkey opted to lay some of the blame on the referees.

Late in the fourth quarter, South Carolina senior Kamilla Cardoso and LSU sophomore Flau’jae Johnson got into it, with almost the entirety of both benches being subsequently cleared.

Postgame, Staley apologized for her team’s part in the fight and said that Johnson had apologized to her. But Mulkey opted to take aim at the refs.

“Do you realize there was only one foul called on each team with two minutes left in the fourth quarter?” she said. “Are you kidding me? That might have created some of that. Not the way we play. We’re going to foul your a–. They’re going to foul your a–. You only blew the whistle one time? Think about that now.

“Flau’jae, what I saw, intentionally fouled [Milaysia] Fulwiley because she stripped her. Great move because she’s gonna get a layup right there. Then some jawing went on with her and another player and the next thing I know Cardoso just waylaid her.

So I ran because somebody came out of the stands — I think it was Flau’jae’s brother — trying to keep him from doing anything crazy.”

While she conceded that “no one wants to be a part of that,” she also said she wished Cardoso “would’ve pushed Angel Reese.”

“Don’t push a kid—you’re 6’8”—don’t push somebody that little,” she said. “That was uncalled for in my opinion.”

She also continued, addressing both benches being ejected for leaving the bench area. After all penalties were handed out, LSU had just five players available while South Carolina had six.

“Why weren’t the coaches tossed if they left the bench?” Mulkey continued. “Wouldn’t that be a hell of an ending? I guess it’s just the players that leave the bench area. It’s ugly. It’s not good. No one wants to be a part of that.”

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