‘Doink’ and other things at the BanJo

Marietta College fan Barry Taylor, who was sitting with Cathy Binegar behind press row, yelled out to yours truly during second-half action at Fenton Court Saturday night.

He had to holler, because the BanJo was so alive, so noisy.

“Do you know what the record is for fouls in a game?” Taylor inquired.

I turned around and replied, “I don’t know.”

But after the Pioneers defeated Arcadia University, 88-76, I looked it up on the Internet.

While the refs may have been a little on the whistle-happy side in the MC-AU second-round NCAA Division III men’s basketball game, the D3 single game record for personal fouls for both teams is 80.

It was set in a game on Jan. 28, 2000 when Grinnell was assessed 46 and St. Norbert 34.

Marietta (30) and Arcadia (27) only had a combinined 57 called against them. Amazingly, no player fouled out, but the Pioneers had five with four and the Knights four with four.

Only one technical foul was called, and it was on the Knights’ head coach in the second half.

As always, Pioneer boss Jon VanderWal was pretty animated on the sideline, but also composed. He had his share of one-on-one conversations with the refs.

“I didn’t think it was that physical,” he said. “I thought if you touched a guy they were going to call it tonight.

“To the ref’s credit tonight, I guess, they were consistent. We didn’t do a very good job of adjusting. We just kept hand checking and reaching in, and a lot of those fouls were fouls.”

Foul or not, the Pioneer faithful vocally and enthusiastically expressed their opinions.

“C’mon ref, you’re on their (Knights) team, aren’t you,” said fan George “Offy” Offenberger, amusingly.

Or, he might add, “Ref, he (Pioneer player) got tackled out there. This isn’t football.”

Then, there were Murph and Sheila Murphy. Whenever an Arcadia player missed a free-throw, Murph would yell out, “Doink!” Very funny.

No question about it, Marietta College fans get into the game, and are the best “Sixth Man” in the nation in my opinion.

“We definitely hear ’em,” said MC senior Anthony Wallace, who scored a game-high 20 points against Arcadia. “You can’t not hear ’em.”

“I mean, that’s probably one of the best things about Marietta, and I definitely love coming here from West Liberty. Just having this crowd, people you see every day on campus, your friends and everybody cheering you on. They want you to win, and it’s awesome.”

From my vantage point on press row, the MC student body across the court, stands the entire game, cheering and having a grand old time.

Against Arcadia, Pioneer football star running back Tanner Clark led his fellow classmates on a kind of back-and-forth wave before throwing himself on the floor, laughing.

But wait a minute, one of those students wasn’t a student but an older gent by the name of Gary Murphy. Yes, there he was standing in the group, cheering, and probably cracking jokes.

And, then, the game was over.

“It was great after going through the hand-shake line and seeing the student body meet our guys at half court,” VanderWal said, “jump around with them a little bit and celebrate with them.

“And seeing that camaraderie on campus. I thing that’s really important at a small school like this. And obviously the community support is just tremendous. I’m so grateful and thankful for the fan support. It’s a huge advantage. That’s for sure.”

Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, and can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com