Late in the second half of Utah Valley’s Dec. 13 69-50 loss to Utah State, chants of “Orem High School… Orem High School” echoed throughout the McKay Center. The chant, led by a portly Utah State student in the Aggies’ fan section, was icing on the cake as the Aggies stomped all over the Wolverines. The beatings were dished out one after another without any retaliation. The abuse handed to the Wolverines didn’t occur on the basketball court — though Utah Valley struggled to keep the game close — but rather between student sections in the crowd.
From the opening tip to the final buzzer the Aggie student section dominated the action. In unison, after UVU committed a foul, missed a shot or went to the free throw line insults were dispersed toward the helpless MAWL. In essence Utah State owned the home-court advantage that should have belonged to the Mighty Athletic Wolverine League. It was as bad as a team coming into your place, disrespecting you and kicking your butt without even putting up a fight.
UVU is a young university that has plenty of growing to do in many ways. The academic accolades are filtering in and athletic success has and will continue to be a part of Utah Valley. But how long will it take for students to grasp the school spirit needed in big games, especially at home.
Regardless of the basketball team’s record the MAWL section should be full every game. An added bonus for the rest of the season is being able to see Ryan Toolson, one of the best players ever to wear Wolverine green, play night-in-night-out. It’s one thing for the Wolverines to lose a home game to a superior Utah State basketball team, but for the opposing crowd to also come in and dominate is embarrassing.