Dianne Frances D. Powell
TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State University basketball fans eagerly supported their team Sunday, even from a distance, as they watched the Sycamores battle in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game being played in St. Louis.
Some fans gathered with family at Buffalo Wild Wings on Terre Haute’s south side to eat and cheer as ISU faced the undefeated Wichita State Shockers.
Two of the fans were ISU students Marcus Zimmermann and Alexa Smith. Wearing matching blue Sycamore gear, Smith and Zimmermann cheered, clapped and yelled out their support.
“It’s our school. Better support them,” said Zimmermann, an international student from Sweden.
Back home, he said, there are no school sports teams, so he is happy to experience that in the U.S.
“I like … that you can cheer for your school teams,” and show school spirit, he said. It’s good to have something in common with your fellow students,” he added.
When ISU’s Justin Gant made a particularly good play in the first few minutes of the game, Smith said proudly, “Terre Haute boy!”
“He’s in my class,” Zimmermann said.
Hopes were high for a win at the start of the game, but in the end, the Sycamores lost 83-69.
Some of Smith’s family members were not only basketball lovers but also ISU alumni, so she has memories of watching the games live as a child.
“So the team is very important to me,” she said.
Just a table away from the students was a family enjoying a meal while intently watching the game.
Paula Milner of Terre Haute was accompanied by her husband, two daughters and two grandsons.
“My daughter and I both went to Indiana State,” Milner said, so she always watches the games to “support the team and the college.”
“Win or lose, we still like them.”