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Missouri keeps fans on their feet

Fans have to stand around waiting for Tigers to score.
Wednesday, January 5, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:54 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 13, 2008

When Missouri starts slow, it’s hard on everybody.

It is tradition for fans to remain standing until the Tigers score their first basket.

Leave it to Missouri fans to suffer for tradition.

The Tigers failed to score on their first five possessions against American University, and Missouri fans young and old stood, waiting.

Four minutes into the game, junior center Kevin Young finally scored Missouri’s first basket with a tip of sophomore Linas Kleiza’s miss. The fans at Mizzou Arena heaved a collective sigh of relief and sank into their chairs.

“Thank God!” one beleaguered fan shouted. “It’s about time.”

Sign Him Up: Some of the best shooting of the night came at halftime when 20-year-old Even Lange, of Peculiar, Mo., competed in the shootout contest sponsored by Boone County National Bank.

The contest allows fans to attempt to win cash prizes by sinking a variety of shots, starting with a layup and becoming gradually more difficult.

Lange, a former forward at Raymore Peculiar High School, showed he wasn’t just any contestant when he dunked rather than shooting a layup to start, eliciting a barrage of cheers from the crowd.

He then made a free throw, and finished up by sinking a 3-pointer as the 24 second time limit expired.

“I’m really lucky I made that last shot,” Lange said laughing. “If I had missed that, I would have looked like a total idiot for showboating with that dunk.”

Lange won $100 for his efforts.

Guess Who: It wasn’t hard to tell who Eva Ingram was rooting for as she sat behind the American bench on Tuesday. Ingram was holding two red and blue pompoms in either hand, which she pumped in succession, seemingly regardless of what was happening on the court.

If that wasn’t enough, her bright red sweatshirt was embossed with the name and number of her son, American guard Andre Ingram.

“I had to come and support my baby and our team.” Eva Ingram, who traveled from her home in Virginia, said.

Despite the Eagles’ loss, Andre gave his mom plenty to cheer about. He led the Eagles with 19 points.

Natural Selection: The ‘kiss cam’, which shows couples on the scoreboard’s big-screen television in an attempt to coax them into a smooch, is fast becoming a local phenomenon. On Tuesday it somehow landed on Columbia mayor Darwin Hindman and his wife Axie. Ever the affable politician, Hindman gave the camera a grin and planted one on Axie’s lips to the delight of the fans. The Hindmans have been married for over 40 years. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Packing Boxes: Who says the best fans sit in the cheap seats? A sparse crowd of 6,315 showed up to watch Missouri’s win over American. The low turnout apparently didn’t affect attendence in the luxury boxes. Twenty-one of Mizzou Arena’s 26 luxury suites were occupied for the game.

Fans in the suites have the additional perk of access to televisions, almost all of which were tuned to the Orange Bowl, where University of Southern California and Oklahoma were playing for the college football national championship. USC scored 38 points in the first half of the Orange Bowl — that’s five points more than the Tigers scored in the first half.


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