Tech expects record-breaking attendance at Hoop Saturday

The women’s basketball team hopes for a record-breaking crowd at the Murray State game Feb. 25.

The women’s game begins at 5:30 p.m., with the men’s game following after. Athletics is encouraging students, faculty and staff and community members to come to the games wearing purple.

“Attendance matters for support for the team,” said Rob Schabert, Sports Information and Broadcasting assistant athletics director. “One of the most difficult things to do in college sports is to win a basketball game on the road; it’s such a hostile environment and atmosphere.

“We are hoping that our fans will make it very difficult for the visiting team when they come to the Eblen Center.”

Tech’s women’s basketball record attendance of 6,113 was set Feb. 3, 1990 when Tech hosted and won against rival Middle Tennessee State University. Schabert said that a large crowd was at both the women’s and men’s game in the doubleheader, but attendance for the record was counted only from those attending the women’s game.

Saturday’s attendance will be counted the same way.

“Tech’s women’s basketball led the Ohio Valley Conference in attendance for more than 20 years, and we’re hoping to get back to that level,” Schabert said. “Winning the OVC championship last year was a good first step toward rebuilding a huge following for our women’s basketball program.”

This year, Tech’s women will be seeded No. 3 out of eight in the OVC Tournament, and they have won eight out of their last 10 games. The two losses were by a total of three points.

“I think it’s pretty cool that they’re trying to get as many people at this game because for both men’s and women’s, it’s probably the most important game of the season,” sophomore Elise Robertson, said. “The women are on a really high swing into the conference tournament, and I think that they could use a big crowd just as well as the men could.

“It will be interesting to see if the women can get the record they need to break the record right before they head into conference season.”

Tickets will be available all day Friday in the Athletic Ticket Office in the Hoop and were distributed in the RUC the past two weeks. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

Schabert said, “All of the lower bowl reserved seats are sold out. As of Tuesday, about 2,000 tickets remained for the upper bowl, and tickets were selling briskly Monday and Tuesday, so all indications are that it’s going to add up to a very good crowd.”

Ticket distributions alone will not count toward attendance, but the number of people who walk through the door to see the women’s game will count.