DeKALB – During the Friday afternoon shootaround, the court at the NIU Convocation Center was fine.
For the month's worth of practices leading up to Friday's scheduled season opener against St. Francis, the court was fine.
But about an hour before the scheduled tipoff, there was condensation on the court, and the game was postponed.
"You feel bad for the players, the student-athletes," NIU head basketball coach Mark Montgomery said. "You mark on your calender opener Friday night, they're excited. But no matter what, I told them, their safety is most important."
Montgomery said the players noticed the condensation on the court about an hour before game.
"We've been practicing in this facility a month straight, no problem," Montgomery said. "Weather's changing, some things you can't control unfortunately. If we had an ice arena it could come up from the bottom, but we don't. It happened before the game, so maybe it just wasn't meant to be."
The game against the NAIA Fighting Saints was supposed to tip at 7 p.m. At around 8 p.m., officials made the announcement that the game would not be played. It will be made up, although a date has not been set.
A release from the school said tickets to Friday's game will be honored at the make-up game, and there will be special concessions at that game as well.
The Huskies will now open the season at home Tuesday against Green Bay, with tip-off again slated for 7 p.m.
"It's out of our control, and we can only control things in our control," Montgomery said. "So we can control that we want the officials and the student-athletes of both teams to be safe, so we'll get this thing rescheduled. So we'll open Tuesday night. We looked like we had a good crowd, they'll have to come back Tuesday night."