Know someone who goes to Saint Martin’s University, go there yourself or a fan of the Saints over Tacoma’s basketball teams? Enjoy a night out in Olympia for the upcoming Pack the Pavilion event on January 19 where SMU plans to turn its Marcus Pavilion red.
Everyone in attendance is asked to wear red for the Saints’ “red-out” to show support for the men’s and women’s basketball teams – both of which will be part of a Great Northwest Athletic Conference double-header that evening.
“This game is an event that our players, students and campus look forwarding to hosting, as it brings out the excitement and energy of college basketball,” said Saint Martin’s Athletic Director Bob Grisham. “It really has developed into an event with a tradition of bringing out the supporters of our basketball programs.”
The women’s team will face University of Alaska Fairbanks at 6:30 p.m., while the men take on Montana State-Billings at 9:00 p.m. If you’re a Saint Martin’s student, show up early as red shirts will be given to the first 150 Saint Martin’s students to arrive. The men’s game against the visiting Yellowjackets, which will feature a halftime performance by Tumwater High School’s dance team, will be broadcast on ROOT Sports. If you’d like to catch the event from afar, visit northwest.rootsports.com and click on ‘Channel Finder’ for channel listings of all television service providers.
“We are very excited about this event. We appreciate every opportunity to play in front of our home crowd, but walking into the Marcus Pavilion packed with fans is a truly special experience,” said second-year SMU men’s coach Alex Pribble.
“We’ve been fortunate to have great support from students and alumni this season. As we continue to grow and improve, we hope that local basketball fans will come out and enjoy some Saint Martin’s basketball,” Pribble said. “Playing on regional television is a great way to represent our University and our program in front of a larger audience.”
The SMU men are off to a strong 6-3 start under Pribble. The high-tempo Saints rank third in the GNAC in scoring this season, averaging 86.1 points per game, and have surpassed the 80-point mark six times this season, including a 120-point outburst in a victory over Northwest Indian College on December 10 and a 100-point performance in a win over Capilano University in November.
Senior Tyler Copp paces the Saints offense, averaging just under 20 points a game – good for fourth in the GNAC – while teammates Trey Ingram, Cole Preston and Brandon Kenilvort each average more than 10 points a game.
SMU split its two meetings with Montana State-Billings last season, with each team posting road victories. The Saints won the first matchup in Billings, winning 77-60 behind a career-high 27 points from Fred Jorg, before dropping the rematch at home, 84-80.
The SMU women, under head coach Tim Healy, now in his 24th season with the Saints, and Alaska Fairbanks both currently sit at 4-6 for the season. Elin Johansson, a 6-foot-1 forward from Gothenburg, Sweden, leads the Saints in scoring (13.5 points a game) and rebounding (6.7).
Both SMU squads are looking to advance to the GNAC postseason basketball tournament, which will be held March 2-4 at the University’s Marcus Pavilion, which is just a half hour drive from most parts of Tacoma.
“One of the many great things about this University,” Pribble said, “is that it is located in the heart of a family-oriented community – a community that really values competitive athletics. We hope people throughout the area will come watch us play.”
Attending Pack the Pavilion is an affordable night out, too. Tickets for ROOT Sports #PACKTHEPAVILION night are buy one/get one free and include admission to both the women’s and men’s games, so plan to bring a friend! Tickets are $6 for adults; $4 for seniors, military and non-SMU students with student IDs; and $3 for students 12 to 18. Admission for Saint Martin’s students and for children 11 and under is free.
For SMU students, a between-games pep rally begins at 8:00 p.m. at the Trautman Union Building on campus. Games, food and drink will be served with a side of cheerleading to accelerate the fun factor. Students are invited to dress in their “Don’t Tread on Red” shirts and other red Saints gear for the event and the games.
Saints fans who are over 21 are invited to attend a Warming Up With the Saints Tailgate between games at the University’s Norman Worthington Conference Center, adjacent to the pavilion, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE. Tickets to the tailgate event are $10 ($5 for Saints faculty and staff) at the door, and include appetizers and beverages.
For more information about #PackThePavilion and to follow the action from home as it happens, please visit www.smusaints.com.