View Full Version : "If you don't get butterflies walking onto this court, you'd better check your pulse"

12-10-2009, 03:25 PM
This is a really sweet story about the game, from Augustana's point of view, on Quad-Cities online (http://www.qconline.com/archives/qco/display.php?id=470574). How far we have come when a game on our court becomes a memory of a lifetime for a young man.

Despite loss, Augie's trip to Gonzaga 'great moment' for school
By Joel Donofrio

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Augustana Vikings took the taunts from the crowd, the contact from their opponents and even the eventual lopsided result in stride.

Because for 40 intense minutes — and especially the first 12 — Division III Augustana made the most of its chance to compete against one of the best basketball teams in America. Gonzaga's outside shooting, tough defense and open-court game eventually wore down the Vikings in a 79-40 Bulldog victory on Wednesday night, but Augustana took many positive away from its visit to "the Kennel."

"Walking out for warmups, with the fans standing and getting after us the entire game, it's just a great, great environment," Vikings guard Troy Rorer said. "Just coming out here and being able to battle against one of the country's best teams is something we'll always remember."

Augustana senior Matt Pelton has been part of some outstanding teams during his collegiate career, but he said playing the No. 21-rated, Division I Bulldogs was unique.

"It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we tried to soak in every moment of it," Pelton said.

Players weren't the only ones with goose bumps as the Vikings walked onto the court just before tipoff — past 500 red-shirted, jumping Gonzaga students and the noise of 6,000 Bulldog fans pouring down upon them.

"If you don't get butterflies walking onto this court, you'd better check your pulse," Augie coach Grey Giovanine said. "This is one of the great venues of the college game, and one of the great teams, too."


Green's two blocked shots and an early, spinning drive to the basket by Pelton even earned some "oohs" from the Gonzaga faithful.

"I did enjoy that one play — it was cool to hear the crowd, I guess," said Pelton, who scored eight points and had three assists, but went 0-for-5 from 3-point range. "I wish we could have had more moments like that, but at the end of the day, it's a great experience for us and a great moment for our school."

Pargo the Destroyer
12-10-2009, 03:30 PM
And this was with only half of the Kennel Club in attendance.

12-10-2009, 03:36 PM
Thanks for digging that up for us. :)

It is what I hoped Augustana would take away from the game.


12-10-2009, 03:41 PM
I swear that the pregame routine and the amped music lately gets the opposing team more hyped than the Zags. The latter become blase about it as the season wears on. The Cougs. Wake Forest. The littler teams. They all begin to jump around with smiles on their faces, and play manic for about 10 minutes into it.

The team that I remember being most affected negatively was the last Husky team. They were intimidated and wet their pants.

12-10-2009, 03:53 PM
The team that I remember being most affected negatively was the last Husky team. They were intimidated and wet their pants.

Yes, they sure did.

12-10-2009, 04:04 PM
I had to keep threatening to smack my sister when she cheered and shouted encouragement for the Augustana kids.

And here are some pics for some for those scrappy Augustana kids:

Kameron Norton, going up for a rebound with Rob Sacre for a rebound with a sea of red behind him.


Augustana’s Terrence Green (50) and Matt Pelton (30) competing with Rob for another rebound.


Elias rolling around Kameron Norton:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_UkLNCxT74w4/SyGWP7nPu8I/AAAAAAAAC4I/HksVyA5y7ug/Fullscreen%20capture%201292009%20101819%20PM.bmp.j pg

Good luck the rest of the year Vikings!

12-10-2009, 04:31 PM
Well coached team that plays very hard. I'd like to see their game against Washington U.

They're good. Here's to a Division III National Championship!

Go Zags!!!!

12-10-2009, 05:25 PM
As a fan when I finally got to see the Zags play at home I was blown away. After watching so many games on TV and only seeing them live in San Diego it was truly a religious experience for me to see a game there. We sat in season tickets behind the student section. The atmosphere and the crowd was incredible. I was "thunderstruck."

I can only imagine what it must be like for the opposing team walking out on the Zags floor. I am guessing the Augustana player who got the technical for dunking in the warmups probably did so because he was so jacked up. The crowd got the Zags 2 points before tipoff, nice.

FYI- the first game I ever saw at the MAC? The day of Heytvelt's suspension. I was interviewed after the game by KHQ as a random fan for my opinion. I got a lot more than I bargained for, but the Zags won and kept their long home winning streak intact. The streak was broken the following game after I left town.

12-10-2009, 06:00 PM
I thought this post was going to be about Madison Square Garden. The most powerful city in the world, the best venue, etc. etc.

I hope GU does not get butterflies when they step onto the MSG court. I hope they feel only a gut instinct killer reaction, and beat Duke by 16.

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

12-10-2009, 06:09 PM
Thanks Native. Was hoping to see something from Augies perspective.

12-10-2009, 07:23 PM
The team that I remember being most affected negatively was the last Husky team. They were intimidated and wet their pants.

And the Zags treated them like the naughty little pups they were and rubbed their noses in it.....Ahhhh, those were the days. :D

Go!! Zags!!!

12-11-2009, 05:38 AM
I know a couple members of the group that came with the Augie team..Nothing put praise and positive comments about the GU team,fans,facilities. They were even in awe of the GU bus that picked them up at the airport. Believe me, just a tad better than they are used to. The Augustana website actually had updates of their entire trip. As I mentioned in another thread, we would win handily, but they did not quit till the final buzzer. This really was the of their year highlight

The Oregon Spike
12-11-2009, 09:07 AM
Awesome article, and it truly does demonstrate how far GU has come

12-11-2009, 09:09 AM
Thanks for digging this stuff up, ZagNative.

12-11-2009, 10:13 AM
Where could I find that website? Thanks.

BTW, other than non student Cougs or huskies , I can't think of any school that brought more fans.

12-11-2009, 12:26 PM
50--Can find on Augustana.edu., the hit -athletics- and hit the GU icon. they cover the entire work up and trip

12-11-2009, 01:45 PM
Thanks '73.