If you’ve ever been sent to bed early by your mother, you may understand a bit how the ISU Bengals and Weber State Wildcats felt Saturday night after just under five minutes of play in their Big Sky men’s basketball game at Holt Arena. With 15:02 left to play in the first half, game officials suspended play and sent the teams to their respective locker rooms while maintenance officials tried to stop water from dripping onto the playing floor from the roof. After an hour delay and no success in stopping the dripping H2O, game officials decided to call it a night, sending the Bengals and their fans home and Weber’s Wildcats and their fans back to Ogden, Utah. Mother Nature was flexing her muscles, again.
When the drips were first discovered most at the game believed the old roof of Holt Arena was springing leaks during another snowstorm. But after most fans had left, Holt Arena Director George Casper explained the roof was sound, “The roof of Holt Arena has a square section right in the very middle of it, with louvered air vents which allow for air circulation. What happened tonight is that the wind was blowing so hard it sent snow into the air vents where it began to melt after being exposed to warmer air.” Even though Casper’s work crew tried to block the dripping, eventually all they could do was wait for all of the snow to melt. The vents are designed so snow and rain runs off of them and down the roof, but Saturday night’s storm was strong enough to send snow into the vents facing south.
As for the game, the Bengals are probably glad the plug got pulled early. When play was stopped they trailed Weber 13-2, and had not yet made their first basket, with their only points coming from two free throws. The game will be rescheduled for January 25 in Pocatello, two days before the two teams will play each other in Ogden, Utah. When the game begins, it will resume from the very point that play was stopped, with the exact same score and players on the court. It could well be one of the longest time-outs in basketball history.
As a result of Saturday’s weather-related problems at Holt Arena, both men’s games this week against Eastern Washington Thursday and the Idaho Vandals Saturday are being moved from Holt Arena to Reed Gym. Both games will tip-off at 7:05 p.m.