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LAS CRUCES - Several New Mexico State men's basketball players were involved in a skirmish with a New Mexico men's basketball player prior to Tuesday's rivalry game, and NM State coach Chris Jans said the matter is being handled internally.

Jans would not comment further and it's unknown if any Aggies will face disciplinary action. 

KVIA-TV obtained video of the incident, which happened about an hour before tip-off, and appears to show UNM's Corey Manigault on NM State's side of the court. Manigault is seen shoving Shunn Buchanan first and then Ivan Aurrecoechea. After players were separated, it appears NM State's Eli Chuha approached UNM players beyond half court and appears to throw a punch (which doesn't land) at Manigault

Aurrecoechea then enters the affray and pushes Manigault. Manigault responds by throwing punches at Aurrecoechea, including one that lands to the side of his face.

NM State assistant coaches then separate the teams.

Aurrecoechea and Manigault played together at Indian Hills Community College last year.

It's not clear what started the incident, but the Daily Lobo reported Buchanan and Manigault were trash talking on social media. 

Officials and head coaches were not on the floor yet, and there was no discipline issued prior to the game. Police officers stood between the two teams for the remainder of warm-ups. The bad blood between the players did not carry over into the game.

UNM coach Paul Weir apologized for the incident in a statement issued Thursday. 

"I am extremely disappointed at the pregame events and want to apologize to not only everyone at the University of New Mexico but also New Mexico State University," Weir said. "Our actions are a direct reflection of me and my lack of ability to communicate to our players the importance of sportsmanlike behavior. At no point has anyone in our program ever been encouraged to act in that fashion and much like the outcome of the game itself, I am embarrassed. Any member of this team who acts that way will have consequences and this will be no different."

NM State beat UNM 100-65 on Tuesday night for the Aggies' fifth straight win in the Rio Grande Rivalry series.

Mark Rudi can be reached at 575-541-5455, mrudi@lcsun-news.com or on Twitter @mrudi19.

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