Losing to Pittsburgh on Monday night was bad enough, but the Niagara women's basketball team's night was about to get much worse.
Their ride home, which should have taken about four hours, turned into a 30-hour debacle.
The bus pulled out of Pittsburgh around 10 p.m. Three hours later it ran straight into the massive storm that blanketed western New York in more than 60 inches of snow. They were completely stranded by 2 a.m., sitting along the side of the road in West Seneca, N.Y.
The team tweeted messages to local police, the Weather Channel, state troopers, even Dickie V. – anyone who might be able to get the word out that they needed to be rescued.
For those of you keeping track at home: We have spent a total of 12 hours on the bus, 8 of those in the same exact position. #BuffaloSnow— Rene'e Polka (@rpolka24) November 18, 2014
Just did an interview with the Weather Channel. At least I'm getting some interview experience in this ordeal. #NUWBBstrandedonabus— Rene'e Polka (@rpolka24) November 18, 2014
There were 25 team members and staff onboard, as well as the coach's 1-year-old son, according to the Associated Press.
While the situation was awful, the women had it better than drivers stuck in cars along the highway. Some of those drivers even boarded the bus and hung out with the team, as their bus had a bathroom and more heat than small cars. The women were also able to watch movies and the Duke-Michigan State men's basketball game Tuesday night.
State troopers finally reached the team early Wednesday morning as a plow cleared the New York State Thruway. The troopers brought them to the police station, where another bus was waiting to bring them back to campus.
Can confirm, WE HAVE BEEN RESCUED. Literally can't thank everyone enough for their support. #believeNU— Rene'e Polka (@rpolka24) November 19, 2014
They're happy to be home safely today. In other parts of the state, the storm is said to have claimed at least six lives and is being called the worst in memory.
"I'm sure when it's all done we'll look back at it and remember how great a bonding experience it was," the coach told the AP Tuesday night. "For now, I think everyone just wants to get home and sleep in their own beds."