BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Dirk Williams scored 17 points and Alabama-Birmingham beat Louisiana Tech, 79-70 in a Conference USA game marred by a benches-clearing brawl that resulted in the Bulldogs finishing the game with just four players Thursday night.
Chris Cokley scored from the low post and was fouled by Omar Sherman with 6:03 left in the game to put UAB up by 13 points, 63-50. And then the fight broke out.
UAB’s Hakeem Baxter appeared to throw a shoulder into the back of Louisiana Tech’s Jacobi Boykins while players were sorting out the foul call and the confrontation escalated. Boykins was immediately ejected for throwing a punch with a closed fist and both were assessed flagrant technical fouls and ejected for fighting. UAB’s William Lee was assessed a Class A technical foul, but was not ejected.
Players from both benches spilled onto the floor and the entire Louisiana Tech bench was ejected for leaving the bench during a fight. Four of the six players on the UAB bench also were ejected. The head coaches remained, but assistant coaches and support staff on both sides were ejected.
With all of its reserves and Boykins ejected, Louisiana Tech played the final six minutes with four players: Erik McCree, Jalen Harris, DaQuan Bracey and Sherman. Despite being a player short, Louisiana Tech outscored UAB 20-16 over the final six minutes.
The win pulls UAB into a three-way tie for second place in Conference USA with Louisiana Tech and Marshall, all two games behind conference-leading Middle Tennessee.
Cokley finished with 15 points for UAB (13-8, 6-2). William Lee finished with 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Deion Lavender added 10 points.
Erik McCree finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs (14-7, 6-2). Harris finished with 13 points and Sherman 12. Boykins scored 10 points before he was ejected.
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