Colorado Mesa University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with The Herd, hosted the second Midnight Madness event on Saturday night. The event featured a three-point competition, dunk contest and the opportunity for two students to win free tuition for a semester.
The night began with the introductions of both teams. Players ran through the Maverick inflatable tunnel out into the middle of the court, in front of those in attendance. Players did anything from doing the Mav Up sign with the fingers to the crowd to showing off their muscles and dance moves to the music as their names were announced.
Next up on the night’s agenda was the three-point competition. Four men’s and four women’s players were competing to see who would be this year’s champion. The winner of the men’s faced off against the women’s winner in the ultimate showdown.
For the women’s team, it was Jaylen Duran who defended her title from last season, as she hit 11 of the 25 shots from downtown. This was two better than the second place finisher Erin Reichle.
For the men’s team, it was between defending champion Ludvig Saldh and newcomer Emilio Acedo. The two had to go to double overtime to determine a winner after both players hit 16 of 25 from beyond the arc in the first two rounds. For the final battle, it was a best of five shots from the top of the key, and it was the defending champion Saldh who came out on top after hitting four of the five shots.
This set up a rematch from last year’s Midnight Madness between Saldh and Duran. And once again, it was Saldh who walked away as the repeat champion as he hit 16 from beyond the arc to Duran’s 13.
Next up was the dunk contest for the men’s squad. The three contestants from the men’s team were Michael Skinner, Damon Dubots, and Jerome LaNeir. There were two rounds to determine the winner. Each round was judged by a committee of six judges: CMU President Tim Foster, Lisa Foster, Jared Meier, Dick Bell, Kristin Heumann and Reese Kegans.
Skinner ran away with the first round after he was the only one to complete his dunk on the first try. That scored him 41 points with LaNeir coming in second with 24. The final round was closer, but it was Skinner who prevailed racking up a total of 56 out of 60 points on his dunk to LaNeir’s 44.
“It was cool,” Skinner said about winning the dunk contest. “There was a lot of people here and it was just a fun thing to do.”
The final item on the night’s schedule was the tuition giveaway challenge. Two students were selected from a raffle, one male and one female, for a chance to win free tuition for a semester. There were high hopes coming into the night after the male student last year hit the half court shot at the buzzer to get him his tuition paid for.
This year, however, did not have the same results. Neither the male or female contestants were able to get free tuition after falling short in the shooting challenge.
Overall the night proved to be a success as it gets the students and athletes prepared for the basketball season that is just around the corner.
“[To] see people in the stands and to have a cool event where [the fans] can come and see us outside the game and brew some excitement [is awesome],” Davis said.
The women’s team opens up their season on Nov. 2 as they travel to Provo, Utah to take on Brigham Young University. As for the men’s team, they open up their season with an exhibition match against Colorado State University in Fort Collins on Nov. 3.