Sunday was an important day.
No, I’m not talking about the Super Bowl.
I’m referring to another game that occurred just down the street from the Staples Center.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about: Yes, there actually was another game that took place at 1 p.m. that day.
It was the women’s basketball game between USC and No. 10 UCLA.
As I walked into the arena and looked around, I couldn’t help but notice the sea of cardinal filling up the Galen Center.
But it wasn’t the raucous crowd you’d normally see at a rivalry game such as this.
It was a sea of empty seats.
And among those seats were sections of baby blue.
That’s right — a bunch of UCLA students and fans came into USC’s house.
Not only did they come into our house, but they made their presence known.
They screamed, shouted and booed our Women of Troy, acting as if they owned the place.
To counter their awful eight-clap — silence.
To counter their sign-waving, their finger-pointing and their chanting — nothing.
USC students: UCLA students outclassed you.
Sure, the players’ parents were there for support, but you can’t expect them to be the only ones giving it their all for their own.
On the other hand, I traveled to Westwood for the first meeting between the two teams, and it was by far a different atmosphere in Pauley Pavilion.
UCLA students and fans packed the arena, and they were cheering, chanting and cursing the Women of Troy.
If I were a USC player, I would have felt I was playing in marked territory.
The game between the same two teams occurred Sunday — except this time, it was in USC territory.
You think Bruin fans would think twice before heading into the heart of downtown Los Angeles, but that clearly wasn’t the case on Sunday.
They knew what they were doing, and they had enough school pride (and guts) to come into the Galen Center and support their team.
The tough part about seeing the lack of student support is listening to one of your own acting as if this should be normal.
“I’ve been here for three years and that’s always how it’s been,” said junior guard Ashley Corral. “It sucks to come out on your home court and get booed.”
Unfortunately, that’s exactly the problem.
That’s where we, as students, are supposed to come in.
To see a home team get booed in their own arena is downright awful.
To have your crosstown rivals come into your own house and fill almost an entire section of the lower bowl is inexcusable.
And to let it happen without even putting up a fight is embarrassing.
We’re supposed to be a Trojan family.
It’s up to us, as students, to fight for our school and our team.
We help each other out, defend and support each other.
But that wasn’t the case Sunday.
I can probably count on both hands the number of USC students in the Galen Center Sunday afternoon — and that’s being generous.
Home-court advantage is crucial, no matter what sport you play.
The support of fans changes the whole dynamic of a game. A three-point basket or a home run can send the crowd into a frenzy and swing momentum back to the home team.
And in an important game that had large implications on USC’s conference seeding and its NCAA tournament hopes, having fans show up to this game would have meant everything.
But nobody showed up, nobody supported the Women of Troy and nobody was there to stand up and retaliate against those Bruins in baby blue.
So, my call to you, as students, is this: Show some more love for the women’s basketball team.
They still have a shot at making the NCAA tournament, and at this point in the season, they have a better record than their male counterparts.
I can guarantee you don’t have a problem showing up at the men’s basketball game, so why not show the same support for the women?
Don’t let your crosstown rivals, or any other opponents for that matter, think they can walk down here and act like they own our house.
Have some pride, don that cardinal and gold proudly and support your Women of Troy.
“In The Zone” runs Thursdays. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or e-mail Trevor at firstname.lastname@example.org.