The newly named Riehm Arena was packed. The noise level was amazing. At first it seemed there were more Owl supporters than Raider fans at Saturday night’s basketball game (February 12). But folks in Raider shirts and jackets continued to stream in through the first minutes of the women’s game. The SOU students in the stands wore black to create a formidable wall of Raider support.
The SOU women made winning look easy. The two teams seemed closely matched at first, but soon the OIT team slowed down and made mistakes. SOU’s 36-27 halftime lead became a 73-57 win over the Owls.
The men’s game was another story. OIT had only two losses in Cascade Conference play this season, so the Owls were looking for a third consecutive conference crown. With strong shooting and an impressive number of three-point baskets, the Owls beat us 68-58. However, we put up a good fight and came close to tying it up a couple of times.
It’s terrific to see the enthusiasm generated by a long-time rivalry such as the one between SOU and OIT in basketball. As we start playing football in the Frontier Conference in a couple of years, I hope we’ll see some rivalries that will bring out the fans the way Saturday’s games did for basketball.