STEPHENVILLE – In an annual tip-off to Texan Basketball season, the Tarleton State men’s and women’s programs hosted Midnight Madness in to 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
On a night of impressive dunks, giveaways and a few powerful dance moves, the Texans welcomed in the 2023-24 basketball season.
After a countdown to the clock striking midnight, the Texan basketball squads of 2023-24 were introduced coming out between a pair of sparks shooters illuminating the players in the darkened-out gym.
In the first competition after midnight, two members of the women’s team, Teresa Da Silva and Andjela Bigovic, competed against men’s players, Jakorie Smith and Devon Barnes. Smith and Barnes showered threes in the first round with Smith knocking down 15 three-pointers in 30 seconds for a total of 46 points. In the final round, the duo shot threes neck-and-neck with Barnes ultimately edging Smith, 42-39.
Following the hot shot contest, the most anticipated part of the night, the dunk contest commenced. Izzy Miles and Zaakir Sawyer wowed the fans with each landing their first dunk. After a display of three perfect 10’s, Miles took home the crown in his first Midnight Madness as a Texan.
In the final event of the night, the men’s team broke into two squads for an eight-minute intrasquad scrimmage pitting the white team against the purple team. Highlighted by a collage of Miles dunks and a thundering block by Lue Williams, the purple team snagged the victory, 24-22, earning Whataburger coupons for the fans on the purple side of the stadium.
Kicking off the night, fans were selected to partake in a Whataburger cornhole toss and Texan blind find.
Performances by Texan Cheer, the Texan Band and the Texan Stars rocked the building and students were brought to their feet on multiple occasions.
DJ Quan was on hand for the entire night igniting the crowd and sparked a mini dance mob before the clock struck midnight.
The crowd was wowed by a brilliant performance by the Texan Twirler, Emily Janicek.
Texan Cheer, Texan Drumline and the Plowboys combined for a performance of Thunderstruck complete with flips, flag twirler and inflatable guitars.
In the final fan contest of the night, a pair of contestants were selected to compete in the first inflatable horse barrel race. In a photo finish, the winning jockey dove across the line a nose ahead of his counterpart.
Concluding the night, one lucky fan took home a 65-inch Samsung Smart TV as part of a random drawing among those that checked into the Tarleton Fan Rewards App.
Band and cheer ended the night with a loud and proud rendition of the Tarleton Fight Song followed by Foul Play’s playing of the Color Song.
Tarleton State Women’s Basketball will start their 2023-24 campaign on Oct. 25 in Wisdom Gym for a 6 p.m. exhibition contest against McMurry. Tarleton State Men’s Basketball will open in Wisdom Gym on Oct. 30 in an exhibition contest against Howard Payne following the women’s second exhibition of the season in a 6 p.m. bout against UNT Dallas.