By Nick Cammuso
Times West Virginian
While the No. 1 goal for Fairmont State’s basketball programs Thursday is a sweep of the visiting University of Charleston, the Falcons have another goal in mind:
Jam the Joe, and wear white while you’re at it.
FSU is hoping to fill Joe Retton Arena to the gills for tomorrow’s doubleheader versus UC — which gets under way with the women’s game at 5:30 p.m. followed by the men two hours later — and become the first school in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this season to draw more than 3,000 fans.
“We’re trying to have just an unbelievable atmosphere,” first-year Fairmont State men’s basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun said.
In order to reach — and exceed — that number, the Falcons are pulling out all the stops Thursday night.
The game is being promoted as a “white out” with fans encouraged to wear white to the gymnasium. On top of that, free white T-shirts will be passed out to the first 1,500 fans. Students will also be treated to free pizza courtesy of Papa John’s starting at 6 p.m., and after the men’s game the Marshall Lowery Band will perform live.
“It’s a neat look,” Calhoun said of the “white out.” “Penn State kind of started it and we wanted to do it. Being a big game, I think it will create more excitement.”
“We truly want to create a home-court advantage for our players,” FSU athletic director Rusty Elliott said. “Both games should be very competitive and we think it’s a great night to come out and experience Fairmont State basketball.”
The FSU men are 13-4 overall and 11-2 in the WVIAC, good for second place in the league. The Falcons have won eight of their last nine with the only loss being a five-point setback on the road against No. 1 West Liberty. Fairmont State defeated UC in Charleston, 71-61, back in December.