Michael RothsteinESPN Staff Writer4 Minute Read
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama’s gamers stood at midcourt, throwing on T-shirts to have a good time an SEC regular-season championship. They did it at house in opposition to their largest rival, in a comeback that the varsity hadn’t skilled for at the very least a decade.
They introduced out indicators celebrating a title and reduce down nets after a 90-85 extra time win versus Auburn on Wednesday. It was a frenetic recreation that culminated in Alabama’s second regular-season convention title in three years.
The Crimson Tide trailed by 17 factors with 10:49 left within the second half, making it Alabama’s largest comeback since at the very least the 2010-11 season. It was additionally the varsity’s first extra time victory over Auburn since 1985.
It was a contest that noticed three Auburn starters — forwards Jaylin Williams and Johni Broome and guard Allen Flanigan — foul out and two Alabama gamers ejected for leaving the bench throughout a small verbal tussle between Auburn’s Wendell Green Jr. and Okay.D. Johnson and Alabama’s Jahvon Quinerly, who appeared to toss the ball at Broome after coming throughout the lane for a steal.
Quinerly, who led the Crimson Tide with 24 factors, then ran into Green, inflicting the verbal interplay. Rylan Griffen and Charles Bediako got here off the bench and ran towards the altercation that the referees rapidly broke up, and each have been ejected. Alabama coach Nate Oats mentioned he was nervous about his squad shedding momentum on the time of the argument, which got here with 7:31 remaining and the Tide down 66-58.
It was a part of a 16-point run that introduced Alabama again within the recreation and helped it power extra time and ultimately win an SEC title — a championship and a season that has had the fixed reminder of a homicide investigation surrounding it because the capturing loss of life of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris on Jan. 15 close to Alabama’s campus.
“I could not be extra pleased with this group, to be sincere with you,” Oats mentioned. “Obviously, it is a heartbreaking scenario that is by no means misplaced on us. But the youngsters have labored actually exhausting. Winning the SEC is just not a simple factor to do.”
After the sport, the varsity didn’t make gamers accessible to reporters for the sixth straight media session.
The previous two weeks have seen elevated scrutiny of Alabama and its No. 2 basketball program for off-court causes.
Testimony in a Feb. 21 preliminary listening to for the homicide of Harris revealed that Alabama’s greatest participant, Brandon Miller, had pushed the automobile that contained the weapon used within the capturing. Miller’s ex-teammate, Darius Miles, allegedly offered the gun used to kill Harris to the alleged shooter, Michael Lynn Davis. Miles and Davis are dealing with capital homicide fees.
Miller’s legal professional, Jim Standridge, mentioned Miller didn’t know the gun was in his car and by no means dealt with the weapon. Oats and police say Miller has been cooperating with the investigation, and he has not been charged with any crime.
Alabama decided to permit Miller to proceed to play, and he scored a career-high 41 factors the next evening, a Feb. 22 win at South Carolina, then had a team-high 24 in a conquer visiting Arkansas on Saturday.
The controversy adopted, although, as Miller and a walk-on member of the staff carried out a pregame introduction routine on Saturday that Miller had used typically this season — a TSA-like pat-down. Oats mentioned Tuesday it will not occur once more, and Miller didn’t use the introduction previous to Wednesday’s recreation.
Against Auburn, Miller scored 17 factors, going 3-of-12 from the sector and making 10 of 11 free throws in 39 minutes.
Alabama subsequent performs on Saturday at Texas A&M, earlier than subsequent week’s SEC event.