Disappointment in the Dawg Pound

By: Luis Medina

After the SIU men’s basketball team’s 66-64 loss to Charlotte on Saturday, it all became apparent to me.

The 49ers have the Salukis’ number. And to be honest, I’m not sure why.

Not only has Charlotte defeated SIU in its last four match ups, it has won two of the match ups at the SIU Arena where the Salukis are usually invincible.

Did you know Bobby Lutz’s kids are the only team to have beaten SIU in The Arena twice since the beginning of the 2001-02 season. That’s astonishing especially when you take into consideration some of the great Creighton teams that have come into the arena just to leave with a loss hanging around its neck.

And as much as the loss hurt SIU, it was felt throughout the arena as many students experienced their last game at the SIU Arena.

I would know. I spent four years as one of those nutty fans. Defeats such as Saturday’s two-point loss are hard to swallow.

A friend of mine told me he sat in the Dawg Pound, shocked by the Salukis defeat, until the cleaning crews asked him to leave. Another student told me it wasn’t the way he wanted his last game as a Dawg Pound member to end. A third was disappointed the loss came against a team that entered the game with a 1-6 record, as he could understand if SIU would have lost to what they would have considered a better team.

All three told me they will continue to follow Saluki basketball and plan on returning to one of the most boisterous student sections in the country.

They heckled opponents as mercilessly as they cheered their favorite players in the home whites.

Unfortunately, their efforts weren’t enough to shake Charlotte forward An’Juan Wilderness as he sank a pair of free-throws with four seconds left to push the 49ers past SIU.

Ending their time as SIU Dawg Pound members with what us sports writer folks would consider a tragic ending.

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