Flying bat causes delay in Marquette-Providence basketball game - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Flying bat causes delay in Marquette-Providence basketball game

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A bat circles inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center during the Marquette-Providence game on Saturday. A bat circles inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center during the Marquette-Providence game on Saturday.
Providence head coach Ed Cooley hid behind assistant Mike Jackson while the bat flew around the arena. Providence head coach Ed Cooley hid behind assistant Mike Jackson while the bat flew around the arena.
Big East basketball commentators Sean Kearney (left) and Mike Couzens (right) draped towels over their heads for protection from the bat. Big East basketball commentators Sean Kearney (left) and Mike Couzens (right) draped towels over their heads for protection from the bat.

According to researchers, bats, as in the rodent with wings, are found in almost every habitat known on Earth.

On Saturday, the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisc., home to the Marquette University Golden Eagles basketball team, became another known habitat of the small flying mammals.

During the second half of Marquette's game against Providence, one bat brought play to a halt twice as it soared around the arena striking fear in some, and frustration in others. Some of the Golden Eagle players and coaches went on the offensive by throwing towels at it while the TV commentators took cover with towels, placing them on top of their heads.

Despite a warning from his deputy athletic director about the possibility of catching rabies should the bat bite him, Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said he didn't care. He just wanted to win the game.

"Our deputy AD came over to me and said, 'Buzz, this is serious because if a bat bites you, you get rabies,' which I didn't know." Williams said in a post-game interview. "I was like, we have to win the game. Whatever we have to do with the bat, so be it, but we need to be able to finish this game."

The Providence head coach, Ed Cooley, displayed more concern than that of Williams as he ducked behind his coordinator of basketball operations, Mike Jackson, to shelter him from the uninvited guest.

Officials at the facility eventually dimmed the lights in the arena, allowing the bat to disappear into darkness and play to be resumed.

Marquette went on to beat Providence 81-71 without further incident.

As for the bat, it lived to delay another game.

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