Tarleton Basketball's Midnight Madness Ignites Wisdom Gym


Tarleton Basketball’s Midnight Madness Ignites Wisdom Gym

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In an annual tradition that signals the beginning of the Texan Basketball season, the Tarleton State men’s and women’s teams played host to Midnight Madness, an event that stretched into the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The night was filled with spectacular dunks, exciting giveaways, and impressive dance performances, setting the stage for the 2023-24 basketball season. As the clock ticked towards midnight, the Texan basketball squads for the upcoming season made a grand entrance, emerging between a dazzling display of spark shooters that illuminated the gym in an otherwise darkened atmosphere.

The first competition after midnight pitted two members of the women’s team, Teresa Da Silva and Andjela Bigovic, against men’s players Jakorie Smith and Devon Barnes. The contest saw a flurry of three-pointers, with Smith nailing an impressive 15 shots in 30 seconds, amassing a total of 46 points. In the final round, the competition remained neck-and-neck, but Barnes ultimately edged out Smith, winning 42-39.

Following the hot shot contest, the crowd eagerly anticipated the dunk contest. Izzy Miles and Zaakir Sawyer captivated the audience with their initial dunks. Miles secured the crown in his first Midnight Madness as a Texan after receiving a trio of perfect 10s.

The night’s final event featured an eight-minute intrasquad scrimmage as the men’s team split into two squads, the white team facing off against the purple team. Highlights included a series of jaw-dropping dunks by Miles and a thunderous block by Lue Williams, which ultimately led the purple team to a narrow 24-22 victory. Fans on the purple side of the stadium received Whataburger coupons as their reward.

Before the main events kicked off, fans participated in Whataburger cornhole toss and Texan blind find. The crowd was treated to electrifying performances by Texan Cheer, the Texan Band, and the Texan Stars, all of which had students frequently on their feet.

DJ Quan kept the energy high throughout the night, even sparking a spontaneous dance party just before the clock struck midnight. The Texan Twirler, Emily Janicek, delivered a breathtaking performance that left the audience in awe.

The night concluded with an exciting fan contest, where two contestants competed in the first-ever inflatable horse barrel race. In a thrilling photo finish, one jockey narrowly edged out the other at the finish line.

As the night drew to a close, one lucky fan walked away with a 65-inch Samsung Smart TV, awarded through a random drawing among those who checked into the Tarleton Fan Rewards App. The evening ended with a rousing rendition of the Tarleton Fight Song by the band and cheerleaders, followed by Foul Play’s performance of the Color Song.

Fans can look forward to Tarleton State Women’s Basketball beginning their 2023-24 campaign on October 25 in Wisdom Gym with a 6 p.m. exhibition contest against McMurry. Tarleton State Men’s Basketball will follow suit with their opening exhibition game on October 30 in Wisdom Gym against Howard Payne, immediately after the women’s second exhibition game, a 6 p.m. bout against UNT Dallas.



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