When Arizona won on its rival’s home floor Thursday night, one of the Wildcats’ cheerleaders was not around to see it.
Referees ejected him midway through the second half of his school’s 77-70 victory at 25th-ranked Arizona State.
Arizona cheerleader got ejected for heckling pic.twitter.com/p709Sw1jHN
— The Sports Quotient (@SportsQuotient) February 16, 2018
Arizona State guard Remy Martin was at the foul line when the cheerleader caught the attention of longtime Pac-12 referee Randy McCall. He was reportedly yelling into his megaphone to heckle Martin, a violation of NCAA rules prohibiting cheerleaders from doing that during game play.
“He was yelling, using the (megaphone) to call out people by name, which is not acceptable,” McCall told the Arizona Republic. “And he was asked to please stop, and he chose not to.”
It’s unclear exactly what was said, however, the cheerleader was escorted off the floor to boos and catcalls from Arizona State fans.
Perhaps emotions were high Thursday night because of the significance of the game for both teams. Arizona (21-6, 11-3) needed to win to maintain its stranglehold on first place in the Pac-12, while Arizona State (19-7, 7-7) was trying to solidify its place in the NCAA tournament and build on its momentum from sweeping USC and UCLA last week.
The game itself featured several wild momentum swings.
Arizona exploded out of the blocks as DeAndre Ayton and Allonzo Trier fueled a 30-13 Wildcats surge to start the game. Arizona State rallied behind its talented backcourt to pull within one by halftime and to build a seven-point lead a few minutes into the second half. But ultimately, Ayton and Trier were too much for the Sun Devils and the Wildcats regained control of the game down the stretch.
Ayton had 25 points and 16 rebounds against an undersized Arizona State frontcourt. Trier added 19 points including a trio of threes. And somewhere in the bowels of Wells Fargo Arena, a lonely Arizona cheerleader was probably celebrating every basket.
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