Moments after the game started, Alabama basketball vs. Auburn was in a delay because of a lighting issue at Coleman Coliseum.
The game started and about 30 seconds was played. Then officials called a timeout. All the normal lights were not illuminating.
Some lights from the pregame introductions, specifically the red ones, remained on. So it wasn’t dark inside Coleman Coliseum. It just wasn’t fully lit.
“It’s never happened,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said. “They didn’t flip over from the red to the regular lights. We were trying to figure out if we could play in the dark. We had to make sure both ends had the same lighting or it wouldn’t have been fair.”
It led to a stoppage of play for about 15 minutes. During that time, the teams first huddled, then took part in shooting warmups to stay fresh. During that time, Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne chatted with officials on the court. Soon after that, he was talking with Alabama coach Nate Oats and Auburn coach Bruce Pearl.
Pearl and Oats also talked.
“I gave Nate a hard time,” Pearl said postgame. “I said, ‘Look, if you guys want a new facility, just get a new facility. You don’t have to turn the lights off.’ Something like that. It was just one of those things that happens.”
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Then, at about 6:45 p.m., the public address announcer told fans to remain in their seats. Lights were going to be shut off inside Coleman Coliseum for about 45 seconds to reset the system. But the reset didn’t include darkness. Instead, the arena was soon illuminated, and the fans inside cheered.
Two minutes later, play resumed with Auburn leading 3-0.
The Tigers made their lone shot they attempted before play stopped because of the lights. Then the rest of the game, Auburn finished 13-for-32 (40.6%). Alabama went on to win 79-75.
“We’re fortunate they didn’t shoot it well,” Oats said. “They shot it better with the lights off. Maybe they should have requested to keep the lights off.”
Nick Kelly is the Alabama beat writer for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network, and he covers Alabama football and men’s basketball. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him @_NickKelly on X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter.