Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

3 players ejected after first-half fight


Tempers flared in Thursday night’s Alabama women’s basketball’s game against in-state rival Auburn. Fists were thrown, players were shoved, and after the dust had settled three players were ejected from the contest in which Alabama won a thriller 51-50.

With 1:14 left in the first half, Alabama guard Breanna Hayden and Auburn’s Hasina Muhammad were fighting for a rebound position. Both players seemed to get tangled, and then Hayden threw a punch, which caught Muhammad’s left cheek. Muhammad proceeded to charge Hayden after the foul was called. Hayden retreated to her team’s aid before Muhammad threw a fist at Hayden. Both teams tried to defend their teammates. 

After a video review by the referees, Hayden and Muhammad were ejected. Another Alabama player, Meoshonti Knight received the same fate.

“I have no idea completely what happened, but Bre-Bre [Hayden] apologized immediately to her team after that and knew that she had made a mistake,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. “I will have to go evaluate it.”

Besides a fight, the game was full of excitement. Both teams never let up, and the game came down to the last minute. Alabama was down 47-46, when guard Karyla Middlebrook hit a three-pointer with less than two minutes remaining to take the lead 49-47. Middlebrook then was fouled and made two free throws, but Auburn came back with a three of its own to cut into the lead 51-50. 

The game came down to an Auburn possession with 12.5 seconds remaining. Unable to get open Brandy Montgomery tried to heave the ball at the basket, but Alabama guard Khadija Carter’s hands were in the way for the game-winning block.

“Well the MVP of the night that we haven’t mentioned is Khadija Carter. She stepped up and made some big plays,” Curry said. “I felt really confident going to her. Sometimes, that is what sport is about. When someone else goes down, it’s someone else’s turn.”

After being down 4-6 at the beginning of the game, Alabama had a 13-0 run to take a 17-6 lead early in the first half. Junior forward Nikki Hegstetter broke the 6-6 tie with a three which made the bench and crowd spring to their feet. The Tigers came back and cut the halftime lead to just six points, 30-24. 

In the second half, the Tigers did not take their first lead until Katie Frerking’s three-pointer that gave them a 47-45 advantage. It came down to defense to secure the win.

“I think our defense is something we pride ourselves on,” Hegstetter said. “That’s the kind of stuff that people don’t really see, and doesn’t get in the highlight films, but that’s what wins you the games.”

This is Alabama’s first SEC win, and the team now owns a record of 12-9. Sunday, Alabama is back in Foster Auditorium for another SEC matchup against Vanderbilt at noon.

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