Tate Turner goes up for a lay-up with a Pratt defender in his face.
Tate Turner goes up for a lay-up with a Pratt defender in his face.

It seems like a cliche when athletes are described as having on/off switches. The idea that Richard Sherman is so in the zone when he's on the field that he makes up things in his head that opponents say seems a little bit far-fetched if we're being honest.

But is it possible that some players get better when games get rougher or crowds get nastier? Of course it is. It would be hard to deny that fact when you look at how both ICC teams played Wednesday night at the Beaver Dome in Pratt.

And I apologize for breaking the fourth wall here, but the fact is that I have seen no more hostile environment in the Jayhawk Conference than the Beaver Dome at Pratt.

It's not even up for discussion as far as I'm concerned. The things yelled by students and even some older people involved with school activities was flat-out appalling at times.

One fan went as far as to yell 'I'll kill your family.' That is a verbatim quote. I won't even mention some of the other things shouted at the players and the refs in this one. It was honestly embarrassing to a point.

But the funny thing about it is that as Pratt's crowds got louder and more offensive, it was clear on the scoreboard that the Pirates and Lady Pirates were unaffected.

As the game wound down for the women and Pratt went on a 16-3 run early in the fourth quarter, ICC didn't panic.

They just ran their offense and got to the free throw line. Erica Moore went 9-9 from the line including 8-8 in the second half when the crowd was louder than ever. The Lady Pirates closed out the game on an 8-2 run of their own.

The men went to the line 42 times in the game Wednesday night. But in the final minute of the game with obscenities being yelled in their direction by every fan and band member in attendance, ICC didn't miss a single one.

DeAnthony McCallum and Da'Jon Streeter combined to score 33 of ICC's 47 points in the second half and combined to go 18-23 from the free throw line. And that was as the screaming intensified.

One would think it would have affected them negatively, but Streeter was quick to dismiss that fact after the game.

"I like playing on the road when it's intense," he said. "It gets you going, I like away games."

It's easy to say something like that but the fact is that Streeter isn't lying. ICC has played 17 games so far this year. In the six road games that Streeter has played in he is averaging 21.5 points per game. In the 10 home games he is averaging 13.0. Of Streeter's seven 20-point games this season, four of those have come on the road.

He was hearing it from everywhere Wednesday night. Not so much from the players, but he was really hearing it from the fans. It was hate-laced and non-stop from start to finish.

He scored 11 points in the first half when it wasn't quite as intense. He scored 15 in the second half when the band had spittle coming out of their mouths.

The biggest thing that came out of this game was this: both ICC teams kept their composure in a hostile environment and came away with wins. They didn't get called for any technicals, while Pratt was called for a combined three between both teams.

This was an environment conducive to emotional outbursts and irrational behavior. There was none of that for either ICC team. At all. They can leave those games being proud of that fact.

"It was crazy man, I ain't ever seen stuff like that," ICC men's coach Tony Turner said. "But our guys did a good job not getting caught up in that stuff.

"I just said to leave the crowd alone, I knew they were going to be saying stuff to us and we just ignored them and played the game."

In a game where it would have been easy to overreact with fouls, ICC was called for 17 overall while Pratt was called for 28. We already mentioned the technicals.

And for ICC's women it was the same thing. The Lady Pirates were called for 17 fouls while Pratt was called for 20, and they made the most of their free throws hitting 64 percent to Pratt's 50.

Neither team ever let the crowd get to them at any point in the game. The most they engaged them were in subtle reactions that lasted a split second. Then nothing more.

And for the players they were more than happy about that. And for a guy like Streeter, he wants to get back to action in more atmospheres like this.

"It's good to get this win before we play Coffeyville in that rivalry game," he said. "You know we're trying to get Coffeyville back because we went there and lost a close game by one so we're trying to make it even in the rivalry.

"We're trying to build from this and just continue to win."