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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Fiery fans fuel men’s basketball victory

Before Wednesday night’s men’s basketball game against George Mason even began, the Colonial Army had staked its territory, filling in its seating section shortly after the gates opened. Fans continued to file into the Smith Center as game time approached, nearly filling student seating to capacity and beginning their chants well before the opening tip.

“I like the fact that they were here early,” head coach Karl Hobbs said. “I mean they got our guys ready right in the warmup lines.”

The Colonials seemed to match the intensity of the crowd when they hit the floor, coming out strong and taking an early lead on their way to a decisive 66-49 win.

“The energy was amazing,” said senior Damian Hollis, who led all players with 25 points in the game. “I know I fed off of it, and the team as well fed off of it. It was nice playing in front of a lot of people.”

The turnout – 4,125 fans in all – was the culmination of a two-week long marketing campaign billing the game as “The Battle of the Orange Line” through a Web site,, as well as Facebook groups, Twitter accounts and commercials on local television.

“The marketing is what did it,” said sophomore Noah Wiviott, who waved a poster from the stands during the game. “If we made every game a big deal, people would show up.”

Not only did the attendance impress GW students, but those in the stands said the vigor of the fans was noteworthy as well.

“Everyone claims there’s not that much school spirit, but everyone’s here, everyone’s dressed up, everyone’s cheering,” freshman Caroline Ayes said. “It’s great to be here.”

George Mason’s fans made their presence felt as well, often exchanging dueling chants with the Colonial Army. Patriots fans’ “Let’s go Mason” chant was met by GW fans’ chant of “Beat George Mason,” and when GW students chanted “Safety school,” George Mason’s supporters responded with chants of “Overpriced.”

The Colonial Army also featured visual statements of support, such as students painting their chests to spell “G-D-U-B” and an array of interesting signs.

“I guess the Web site worked because they had a great turnout,” George Mason head coach Jim Larranaga said. “Hopefully when George Washington has to return the game next year we’ll have maybe a Web site and our students and fans will turn out in large numbers too.”

Though this was the first time the two teams had played since 1998, Hobbs said he is looking forward to the feud being fostered between fans of the two teams.

“I think it’s gonna be fun,” Hobbs said. “I think it’s fun for the students. I think it’s fun for the players. Our players know their players, they play together during the summertime, and I think it’s gonna be a fun rivalry.”

Matt Rist contributed to this report

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