Alabama and Auburn’s classic overtime game was not without some drama.
After a foul call on Tiger big Johnny Broome near the Tide’s basket with 7:31 remaining in the second half, Alabama’s Jahvon Queenerly and Wendell Green Jr. collided with each other and exchanged a few words. Queenley wrestled Green’s hands away from him as the Alabama bench quickly emptied onto the court and the Coleman Coliseum crowd got louder.
Charles Bediaco, Rylan Griffen and a team aide, believed to be assistant coaches according to the ESPN2 broadcast, were ejected as punishment for leaving the sidelines.
“We were in the middle of a run at that point,” said Tide head coach Nate Oates. “I was a little worried that we might lose some momentum but we gathered them together. Anyway it was under-eight at media timeout. We said we can’t lose the momentum we had. We’ve got to come out, Took a few stops right out of the gate. I’m not sure it ignited us more because we were already in the middle of starting a run. It was an emotional game and we kept on scoring 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, Johnny Broome, Allen Flannigan and Jaylin Williams all fouled out. Bediako, who started for Alabama, made both of his field goal attempts, while also missing a pair of free throws and grabbing four rebounds. Griffen did not connect on any of his three 3-point attempts, but assisted on two buckets and grabbed a rebound in 11 minutes.
The announced crowd of 13,474 remained vocal throughout the night, chastising the officiating team for fouls and non-calls. When Tigers head coach Bruce Pearl left the court, they booed him. Pearl gave an enthusiastic postgame interview referring to foul trouble.
Alabama won its 16th combined SEC title and second under Oates’ tenure. The Tide travels to No. 24 Texas A&M on Saturday before traveling to Nashville for the conference tournament.
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Nick Alvarez is a reporter for Alabama Media Group. follow him on twitter @nic_a_alvarez or email him [email protected],