No. 16 Xavier's much-needed victory over Seton Hall on Friday night had an ugly ending when players from both teams came together in front of the scorer's table after Musketeers guard Souley Boum and Seton Hall freshman Jaquan Sanders started jawing.
Coaches and teammates did their best to separate the two after both players traded words with a few seconds remaining, but for a moment it appeared things would escalate.
Seton Hall coach Shaheen Holloway was unhappy about a 3-pointer Boum attempted with Xavier ahead 82-57 with 22 seconds to play. Holloway waved his arms and would not shake hands with Xavier coach Sean Miller after the game.
Boum and Sanders were given technical fouls. Seton Hall forward KC Ndefo, who had fouled out, was ejected for leaving the bench.
Boum said Pirates players were acting tough in the closing seconds and his team was not going to stand for it.
"Just two teams getting after it," Boum said after Xavier (21-8, 13-5 Big East) beat the Pirates 82-60 for its second win in five games. "Those [guys] act like they're tough and all that. But I'm not going for that. This team is not going for that. We're not going to let nobody punk us on or off the court."
Miller said he didn't know what happened at the end and he was just happy to get a win. He downplayed the Holloway brushoff.
"I don't have problems with any coaches," Miller said.
Holloway apologized for the way the game ended.
"That should never happen. As the head coach, I take full responsibility for that. My guys gotta do better, I gotta do better, it will never happen again," Holloway said, adding his team got beat in all phases and no one played well enough to be interviewed.
Freemantle is making progress and Miller hopes he will be ready for the Big East tournament.
Trailing 40-21 at halftime, Seton Hall threatened to make it a game in the opening minutes of the second half by starting with a 12-1 run to pull to 41-33 on Femi Odukale's basket inside.
Boum hit a 3 to start the decisive Xavier spurt and Jones followed with a three-point play and two free throws in helping the Musketeers open a 53-33 lead. It only got worse for the Pirates after that.
"We had an answer," Boum said. "We ain't got time to give a team momentum like that. That first four minutes was 12-1. We can't do that, especially on the path that we are on. But I'm glad we handled it. We bounced back, we took the punches and we did what we're supposed to."
The Associated Press contributed to this report