After multiple ejections plus an injury, No. 25 Alabama finished a game against No. 14 Minnesota on Saturday with just three players, losing, 89-84, in the championship game of the Barclays Center Classic.
The game was marred by a fight involving Minnesota’s Dupree McBrayer and Alabama’s Dazon Ingram in front of the Crimson Tide bench 6 minutes 21 seconds into the second half.
Just 27 seconds earlier, Minnesota’s Nate Mason and Sexton had each been assessed a technical foul for jawing at each other, and Mason was ejected.
During the fracas, five Alabama players — Donta Hall, Alex Reese, Daniel Giddens, Avery Johnson Jr. and Herbert Jones — came off the bench and were ejected. Ingram, who had four fouls at the time of the scuffle, fouled out.
Nearly three minutes after the McBrayer-Ingram incident, Alabama lost John Petty to a leg injury, leaving the Crimson Tide with three players.
Collin Sexton kept Alabama in the game until the end and led all scorers with 40 points.
Up by 14 with 10:17 left, the Golden Gophers saw their lead trimmed to 83-80 on Sexton’s layup. Alabama had a chance to cut the deficit to one — or to tie with a 3 — after Sexton grabbed a rebound of a miss by Amir Coffey, but he missed a midrange jumper.
Coffey responded with a layup and a foul to push the lead to 86-80, only to see Riley Smith’s dunk bring the Crimson Tide within four. McBrayer knocked down two free throws with 18 seconds remaining, and Michael Hurt’s free throw increased Minnesota’s lead to 89-82 before Sexton made two free throws with 1 second remaining.