“We’re doing good, but we need to go harder,” UConn-Stamford student Diana Montoya said when her Huskies were down two at halftime of the men’s basketball national championship game Monday night. Montoya’s words must have gotten into Jim Calhoun’s huddle — the Huskies went on a 34-19 run in the second half to defeat Butler University, 53-41.
Montoya was one of 200 students and staff watching the game from the concourse at the Stamford campus. It was the best spot for the students, who were surrounded by their friends and classmates who share in their school pride. “I love this school, a lot of my friends are here,” Montoya said, adding that her other option was to watch the game at home alone.
The viewing party was sponsored by the Student Government Association, which throws celebrations for all big athletic events and other UConn happenings. The SGA wants the students to feel like they are part of the school even though they are not on the main campus, SGA President Gabby Carpanzano said. “Just because we’re not up at Storrs does not mean we’re not a part of the school,” she said. “We try to be one campus.”
The students on the Stamford campus definitely felt like a part of UConn on Monday night, living and dying with every shot, cheering every Husky basket and booing every time the Bulldogs scored. Leading the UConn fans at the campus was Ostap Sayko, who painted his face with blue and white horizontal stripes and beginning many “Let’s Go UConn” chants.
“I just went all out today, I had to,” Sayko said with his raspy voice — he lost it screaming throughout the game.
How did you celebrate UConn’s national championship Monday night? Share below or email reporter Anthony Buzzeo at firstname.lastname@example.org.