SALISBURY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Catawba College held a watch party for its students, faculty, and community Wednesday, as their women’s basketball team played in the NCAA Division II Final Four for the first time in program history.
The team lost to Minnesota Duluth, 70-59, but that didn’t stop their supporters.
The stands at Goodman Gymnasium in Salisbury were filled with screaming students and fans who intently watched the Indians take on the University of Minnesota at Duluth.
“I’m really excited. It’s definitely something they’ve never done before, and I have a bunch of friends on the team, and it’s just exciting to see them on that big of a stage,” said sophomore Sydney Cockerham.
For Catawba’s men’s basketball coach Rob Perron, the game took on a deeper meaning.
“Terence McCutcheon, their head coach, played for me actually in college, so it’s kind of extra special,” said Perron. “They have a great group of ladies that really are cohesive and fun to watch. I think they have a chance, if everybody comes back, to be really good again.”
Students also expressed excitement over what the exposure could mean for the school’s future. Some said that making it this far in the tournament could help attract future students.
“This is definitely one of the best basketball teams as a whole nearby. I come from Hampton, Virginia, and this team is really something special,” said senior Antonio Howard.
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The college spared no expense, providing free food, swag, and entertainment for watch party attendees, making it a special night for the ladies on the court and those cheering them on.
“For me being a freshman, it’s just something good to really see and to just be a part of the history,” said freshman Namaurion Koontz.
The NCAA Women’s DII Championship game is scheduled for April 1st in Dallas.