Chronicle-ASUU Basketbrawl: All Over But Crying

By Caroline Matthews

Editor’s Note: While the University of Utah women?s basketball team was coasting through the Mountain West Conference regular-season schedule, we here at The Daily Utah Chronicle decided to provide the Utes with a real challenge: Report on the annual Chrony vs. ASUU basketball game.

The Chrony bestowed that prestigious and highly coveted honor to Ute reserve center Caroline Matthews. The following is her account of this historical game played March 2 in the Huntsman Center.

Despite the obvious absence of cheerleaders and a pep band on Friday afternoon, the Huntsman Center was still abuzz with excitement, enthusiasm and a burning desire to defeat the opposition.

No, it wasn?t the University of Utah women?s basketball team getting ready for its next match, but rather the highly skilled and extremely athletic participants of this year’s Chronicle vs. ASUU basketball match.

As spectators, we knew we were in for a game of the highest standard when we saw one of the Chrony team members trip on the stairs on his way down to the court. The playing attire of cargo shorts, a beanie cap and multi colored jerseys were a definite give-away of what was to come.

Shane McCammon, Editor in Chief of The Daily Utah Chronicle, was more than willing to share his team’s winning history and confidence for the upcoming game.

?To put it bluntly, we smoked these guys the last two years,? said McCammon. ?We kicked their asses, if you will; we beat them by 30 points both years. It hasn?t been a contest, because people like me got to play.?

Meanwhile, the ASUU team adopted a more low-key attitude before the game. As Nate Gilmore admitted, ?They?re pretty intimidating.?

It seems The Chronicle?s players were not the only ones sporting confidence for the coming match, as their coach Amy Ewert, of the University of Utah?s women?s basketball team, also expressed assurance in her team’s skill.

?We think we?re prepared for this ASUU team,? said Ewert. “They?re a tough matchup for us, but we?ve been working on our offense, and we think they?re not going to be able to handle us.?

When the starting horn sounded, the packed crowd of 17 immediately began to cheer. While the majority of fans were behind the student government?s bench chanting ?A-S-U-U,? the Chrony team made plenty of noise itself with a blocked shot by Randall Harrington initiating chest-bumping and trash-talking to the other team.

ASUU didn?t let this deter them, though, and by the seven-minute mark of the first half, the intense defense by both teams had resulted in a score of 8-8. It seems that after this point someone informed the teams that the idea of the game was to put the ball in the basket rather then just have it sail right past the net, and by halftime ASUU had pulled away to a three-point lead, 18-15.

After some halftime entertainment provided by one overly energetic ASUU team member, play resumed along with the trash-talking and rough play. ASUU?s game plan of ?just beat ?em up? seemed to be paying off, with their team leading by one point with 10 minutes remaining.

It soon became evident that the only way to ensure a foul call was to be thrown to the ground in WWF fashion, slide head-first into the wall or receive a painful blow to one of the more delicate of areas.

The last two minutes of play were possibly the most exciting the Huntsman Center has seen in a long time.

To remain consistent with the style of play for the preceding part of the game, all players continued to show nothing but raw athletic ability. And that?s putting it nicely.

Never before have I, or any basketball enthusiast, I?m sure, seen as graceful a fall?the flat-on your-face variety?simply because someone tripped over his own feet on a fast break. Nor have I seen the ability to play such amazing defense as to allow the other team to put up a completely open shot and still miss. Not to mention the talent to pull in a rebound and then pat the opposition on the head, just to point out the fact that the reason you got the mighty rebound was that she was two feet shorter than you.

Nevertheless, both teams continued to play out the game in true sportsman-like fashion? heckling each other, complaining to officials, and fouling as hard as possible to stop the clock.

However, the finely tuned ASUU team remained focused and continued its success from the foul line in the closing seconds of the game, sealing the well-fought out victory, 43-40.

Upon the final buzzer, the bench and crowd alike erupted, ASUU celebrating the victory and The Daily Utah Chronicle gracefully accepting defeat as every great team in history has done?by blaming the referees.