With his team down by one, Ethan Telfair casually jogged the ball up the floor watching the final seconds tick away. It was no secret who was going to take the final shot. Telfair got a high ball screen from Kyle Ingram and was immediately double teamed.
Ingram set another screen and this time Telfair got the match up he was looking for; an isolation with Joel Bolomboy, a 6-9 power forward. Telfair, a 6-0 guard, took Bolomboy to his favorite spot on the floor, crossed him up and rose up for a clean look at the buzzer.
The 18-foot jumper seemed as if it was in the air for an eternity. If Telfair missed, his team would lose, if he made it, ISU would knock off their arch rival and the best team in the conference, Weber State.
Telfair hit the shot, sending Reed Gym into a frenzy and the students onto the court.
This is a game I will never forget, not only because it is just the second buzzer beater I have seen in my entire life, but because the atmosphere at Reed Gym that night was unreal.
“I think it was the best atmosphere that we have played in since I have been the head coach here at Idaho State,” said head coach Bill Evans.
According to Evans, this includes all other venues throughout the Big Sky such as Montana and Weber State. “The confines are a lot closer, so it was louder.”
While Reed Gym is more compact and has fewer seats than Holt Arena, there is a potential for more ticket sales at Holt.
However, here’s the kicker: the attendance of that game was 2,236, not a sellout. Reed’s capacity is 3,214. Theoretically, the Weber game is the game that ISU sells the most tickets to not only because Weber is our arch rival but because Weber was the best team in the Big Sky at the time.
This proves that ISU would not lose any money on ticket sales if they moved games to Reed.
Although the players enjoy Holt Arena, there is no denying the atmosphere is better in Reed Gym.
“Personally, I like playing in Reed, it is a little bit louder. It is not as spread out but [Holt] is still our home court,” said senior Ben Wilson.
“Reed gym is smaller. It feels like [the fans] are more into us compared to Holt. It is way bigger, but I like it [at Holt], it is like an arena. But when it comes to the crowd, I would choose playing in Reed,” added sophomore guard Geno Luzcando.
There is no reason to play games in Holt. ISU does not sell enough tickets to justifiably be playing games in Holt Arena.
If ISU were to move games to Reed Gym, it could potentially be the best atmosphere in the Big Sky Conference. A sold out small arena will always have a better atmosphere then a half-filled large arena, and right now ISU is not selling enough tickets to sell out games in Reed Gym, so why play in Holt?
ISU could have the best atmosphere in the Big Sky, but as long as we continue to play games in Holt Arena that will never happen.