January 26, 2012

Spirited, vocal student groups backing Golden Eagles, winning prizes

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Vocal, spirited student groups have made a difference this season in providing support for Tennessee Tech's basketball teams in Eblen Center, and will become even more critical as the Golden Eagles head into the final month of the season.

At Monday night's women's game against Jacksonville State, support from student organizations Phi Mu (photo below) and Fiji (photo at right) may have been the difference in Tech's victory. For their efforts, the two groups were declared co-winners of the "Most Spirited Student Group" competition and won a cash prize and a pizza party from Tech Athletics.

"Our student groups are our sixth man on the court and their energy is irreplacable," head women's coach Sytia Messer said.

“We really appreciate the support from our students and it has a huge impact on the game," added head men's coach Steve Payne. "Students can make such a big difference in the games and can give us a tremendous edge as our sixth man. Many conference games are decided by three points or less, so we want to maximize our student support and encourage everyone to get behind the Golden Eagles as we play this final month of the season.”

Student groups that are judged to be the "Most Spirited" in attendance can win prizes at each of Tennessee Tech's remaining nights of basketball in Eblen Center. Each team has four home games remaining, beginning next week. On Monday night, the men's team hosts SIU Edwardsville, and on Wednesday night, the women's team also hosts the Cougars.

Student groups who do the best job of enhancing the atmosphere and providing a homecourt advantage will be selected for a prize for their efforts.

Student groups are encouraged to find creative ways to display their Purple Pride.

For additional information on the student group competition, please call the Athletics Ticket Office at (931) 372-3940.

Students are also encouraged to follow Tech athletics via Twitter for additional opportunities to win a variety of prizes. Follow Tech athletics on Twitter @TTUGoldenEagles.

Here are some additional photos of Tech's student crowds during the past few years: