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    Dec. 16, 2013

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Santa Claus will make a couple of stops at SIU Arena before Christmas, visiting with children before Saturday's 2 p.m. men's basketball game, plus both games of Monday's basketball doubleheader.

    The men's basketball team hosts Ball State in a non-conference contest on Saturday. On Monday, the women's basketball team hosts UT-Martin at noon. Later that day, the men face SIUE at 7:05 p.m. The mood will be festive for the nightcap, as the Little Egypt Barbershop Chorus will sing Christmas Carols as fans arrive at the arena and will also have a special halftime performance of some holiday classics.

    Doors open one hour before tipoff for all three games, visits with Santa are free, and all children will receive a free candy cane.

    For the SIUE game, seats in the student section will be sold to the public for just $8. Groups of 25 or more can purchase these seats for just $6. A large crowd is expected as Continental Tire has purchased 2,500 tickets for its employees.

    The ticket office will be open for normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) through Christmas Eve. During the holidays, the office will be open on Dec. 26 and Dec. 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 90 minutes before tipoff for the women's game against Morehead State on Dec. 30, which begins at 6:05 p.m.