In a game that had long been decided, Sterling Gibbs made strong contact with the face of Ryan Arcidiacono in a scrum for a ball secured around the waist area of the Villanova guard.
Most angles portrayed the fist/forearm contact as quite dirty while another showed his fist glancing off Chier Ajou's head, redirecting it straight into Arcidiacono's grill. Either way, Sterling Gibbs immediately owned up to the mistake made out of frustration post-game after being ejected for a flagrant two.
Sterling Gibbs told reporters he apologizes for striking Arcidiacono. 'That's not who I am,' he said— J.P. Pelzman (@JPPelzman) February 17, 2015
Having looked Sterling Gibbs in the eye when he apologized, I can attest that he was 100% sincere. Give him credit for owning up quickly.— Jerry Carino (@NJHoopsHaven) February 17, 2015
Gibbs continued with a statement to Arcidiacono on Twitter: "Man that's not who I am. I'm sorry to my family, friends, fans, and team for being an embarrassment. Even more sorry to @RyArch15 [Arcidiacono's Twitter handle]. I let my emotions get the best of me and that wasn't acceptable at all. I hope you're alright and I will face any consequences coming. Sorry again @RyArch15 it really is weighing heavy on my heart."
Kevin Willard followed up with a statement of his own on Monday night: "I am extremely disappointed in Sterling's actions tonight. Our student-athletes are entrusted to uphold the morals and values of good sportsmanship and personal conduct that we preach to them on a daily basis. Tonight's incident involved a young man of high character showing poor judgment in the heat of competition. It was regrettable, and we will address the issue."
The play will be reviewed by the Big East. St. John's Chris Obekpa escaped suspension despite intentionally elbowing a Butler player in the face earlier this season.