Alabama and Auburn’s classic overtime game wasn’t without some theatrics.
With 7:31 remaining in the second half, following a foul call near the Tide’s basket on Tiger big Johni Broome, Alabama’s Jahvon Quinerly and Wendell Green Jr. bumped into each other and exchanged a few words. Quinerly swiped Green’s hands away from him as the Alabama bench quickly emptied onto the court and the Coleman Coliseum crowd grew louder.
Charles Bediako, Rylan Griffen and a team aide, believed to be an assistant coach per the ESPN2 broadcast, were ejected as a punishment for leaving the sidelines.
“We were in the middle of a run at the time,” Tide head coach Nate Oats said. “I was a little worried we might lose some of the momentum but we gathered them together. It was at the under-eight media timeout anyways. We said we can’t lose the momentum we had. We got to come out, get some stops right out of the gate. I’m not sure that ignited us anymore because we were already in the middle of starting a run. It was an emotional game and we continued to make a run after that incident.”
No. 2 Alabama (26-4, 16-1 Southeastern Conference) continued its rally, overcoming a 17-point second-half deficit in a 90-85 overtime win over Auburn (19-11, 9-8).
The teams combined for 39 personal fouls. Three Auburn players, Johni Broome, Allen Flanigan and Jaylin Williams all fouled out. Bediako, who started for Alabama, made both of his field goal attempts while missing a pair of free throws and grabbing four rebounds. Griffen didn’t connect on any of his three 3-point attempts but assisted two buckets and nabbed a rebound in 11 minutes.
The announced crowd of 13,474 was vocal all night, chastising the officiating crew for fouls and non-calls. They booed Tigers head coach Bruce Pearl as he walked off the court. Pearl would go on to have a spirited postgame interview when referencing the foul trouble.
Alabama won its 16th combined SEC title and second in Oats’ tenure. The Tide travels to No. 24 Texas A&M on Saturday before heading to Nashville for the conference tournament.