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New Mexico State suspends Carpenter indefinitely for throwing punch against Liberty

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State has suspended forward Robert Carpenter indefinitely from all team activities after he was ejected for punching a Liberty player in the face on Thursday night.

“Per the NCAA’s rules of conduct, any player involved in an altercation during competition is required to serve a one-game suspension, however, we feel it is important to emphasize that the Aggie men’s basketball program places the utmost priority on the values of sportsmanship and respect and feel that an indefinite suspension is necessary,” New Mexico State athletics said Friday in a statement.

Carpenter was ejected in the first half of the Aggies' 79-73 overtime win after he got tangled with Shiloh Robinson under the basket and punched the Liberty forward in the face. Robinson fell to the floor clutching his face and was attended to by New Mexico State trainers.

Carpenter was issued a flagrant 2 foul and ejected. Aggies coach Jason Hooten apologized to Liberty coach Ritchie McKay after the game and again in a statement on Friday.

“I want to reiterate my sincere apologies to Liberty University and Coach McKay for the actions of Robert last night," he said. “Throughout my 14-year career as a head coach, I have consistently upheld a high standard of conduct, and something like this has never taken place within my programs nor is this acceptable.”

A 6-foot-7 forward from Detroit, Carpenter is New Mexico State's third-leading scorer with 9.7 points per game.