Alabama Plays with 3 Players vs. Minnesota After Brawl Ejections, Injury

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2017

Alabama head coach Avery Johnson gestures during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against the BYU, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The Alabama men's basketball team was forced to play with three players during a stretch of its game against Minnesota on Saturday after the entire Crimson Tide bench was ejected following a brawl.

NCAA.com's Andy Katz described the blow-by-blow from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Alabama players Donta Hall, Alex Reese, Daniel Giddens, Avery Johnson Jr. and Herbert Jones were ejected from the contest from the bench during a massive altercation as part of a chippy second half.

The teams were engaged in verbal spats that resulted in technicals for Alabama's Collin Sexton and Minnesota's Nate Mason, the latter being tossed from the contest. A second altercation happened the following time down the floor, which is when the Alabama players left the designated bench area.

Dazon Ingram then fouled out, leaving the Tide with four players. After John Petty was injured with 10:50 to play when he landed awkwardly during a three-point attempt, a five-on-three ensued.

Sexton was the hero of a game that was far closer than anyone could have expected. The Tide guard finished with 40 points and spearheaded an effort that got Alabama within three points before it lost 89-84. Alabama actually outscored Minnesota with three players, 30-24.

"Collin Sexton could beat a whole team by himself. He's just that good," Minnesota coach Richard Pitino told reporters after the game.

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Sexton, a freshman, is the first 40-point scorer for Alabama since 1978.