Thousands Fill Frank Erwin Center for Regular Season Finale
By Kevin Malcolm, Jr.
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas — Fans packed the Frank Erwin Center March 5 for the final regular season game in the arena.
For some, the final game at The Drum was when the UT men’s basketball team played Baylor on Feb. 28. However, there was another game later that week that was just as important. when the women took on Oklahoma State in their regular-season finale.
Head coach Vic Schaefer said it was not only important to win the final game of the season, but also to send his three seniors — Joanne Allen-Taylor, Audrey Warren, and Lauren Ebo — out the right way on their senior night.
“We knew we had to send them out on the right note. We had to be loud, be proud, we got to be excited!” said Zach Hicks, a UT student who attends most of the sporting events on campus.
Schaefer committed to donate $10,000 to the Neighborhood Longhorns Program if 10,000 fans attended the game.
Incentives including $1 tickets and concessions, free t-shirts, and breakfast for students brought many first-timers to the Frank Erwin Center for one last time during the regular season.
Overall, 12,506 fans attended, giving Schaefer and the Longhorns more than they hoped for. Other donors matched or exceeded Schaeffer’s donation, for a total of more than $120,000 for the Neighborhood Longhorns Program.
“Really special day, a special day for our basketball team, our program, I think for our university, and certainly for these seniors,” Shaefer said.
The Longhorns were able to carry the momentum built from their final game into the postseason. After winning the Big 12 tournament, the team received a top 2 seed which meant they earned home-court advantage for the NCAA tournament where they played two more games in the Erwin Center. Texas won both of those games, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.
With its recent success and growing fan appreciation, the team will look to continue its dominance in the Moody Center next year.
“Praise the Lord and hook ‘em,” Shaefer said as the March 5 press conference concluded.