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Air Force’s Matt Mooney, Colorado State’s J.J. Avila suspended one game apiece by Mountain West


J.J. Avila and the Rams are off to the best start in school history (Getty Images)

Denver Post via Getty Images

Early in the second half of Colorado State’s 92-87 win at Air Force Saturday afternoon there was a brief skirmish, with Colorado State’s J.J. Avila placing Air Force’s Zach Kosur in a headlock and Air Force freshman guard Matt Mooney punching Avila in the back.

For their roles in the incident, Avila and Mooney have been suspended for their respective teams’ next game with the Mountain West announcing the news Sunday night.

Mooney was assessed the penalty for striking an opponent and receiving an ejection for fighting, which carries an automatic one-game suspension under NCAA Basketball Playing Rule 10, Section 5. Avila was assessed the penalty for physical abuse of an opponent, as well as actions which either provoked conflict or involved retaliation, in violation of NCAA Basketball Playing Rule 10, Section 5, Articles 2 and 4. The conduct of both individuals also violated Sections 4.2-a. and 4.4.1 of Mountain West Rule 4 – Sportsmanship.

The “fighting” ruling on Mooney is an important one, as per NCAA rules if he were to be involved in another fight he would be suspended for the remainder of the season. Mooney, who’s averaging 7.0 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game, will miss the Falcons’ game at New Mexico Wednesday night.

As for Avila, the Rams will be without one of the best players in the Mountain West when they host Nevada Wednesday night. Avila, who averages 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, leads Colorado State in all three of those statistical categories.

Video credit: CTV News

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