Both young and old enjoyed the festivities at Frost Arena for the annual Midnight Madness Minus Two on Oct. 12. The night gala’s purpose is to show off the men and women’s basketball teams for SDSU with a scrimmage.
The night kicked off with SDSU sports promotions openers to allow fun for the fans. Co-eds and youngsters participated in a blind-fold scooter treasure hunt and a contest to see who could get could the most stuff out of cups around Frost Arena. Also, three students measured the effect of the “freshmen 15” by eating “healthy” Aramark food in less than twenty minutes. The three contestants almost gained 15 pounds in a very short amount of time. The only woman student gained 4.6 pounds, while the second place finisher gained 4.8 pounds with the winner gaining a total of 5 lbs. to be crowned the biggest winner.
All three male students lost all of their gambling and eventually missed all three shots they took at a game similar to “deal or no deal.”
Once the side games were put away, a human shield welcomed the 2007-2008 women’s and men’s basketball teams. The biggest cheer of the night was for women’s head coach Aaron Johnston, who returned to coaching for the Jackrabbits since leaving to University of Wisconsin-Green Bay before coming back to coach at SDSU on Apr. 26th.
“I had a couple people mention to me that they was glad I was back,” Johnston said. “It’s good to be at SDSU. Frost Arena is a great place. The fans are fantastic, so I am looking forward to [the season].” While Johnston’s return was geared for the season, he did not expect a game-like atmosphere from his players. “More than anything we were just looking for them to have fun,” he said.
A 10-minute running clock pitted the Yellow squad-Andrea Verdegan, Jennifer Schuttloffel, Ketty Cornemann, Morgan Meier and others-against the victorious Blue squad-Alison Anderson, Jennifer Warkenthien and Courtney Grimsrud and others. Ashlea Muckenhirn scored her only points, a three-pointer at the final seconds to make the score 18 to 10 with Blue winning. One of the players on the Blue squad was transfer redshirt freshmen Jill Young.
“It is fun to see one of the great players in high school history in South Dakota come at SDSU,” Johnston said. “She plays hard and has great passion.”
In the three-point competition Muckenhirn secured the championship by clearing her last rack in finals play and scored 17 behind the arc beating freshmen Kristin Rotert’s 10.
On the men’s side Kai Williams led the Blue squad victory scoring 22 in route to a very closely contested and at times sloppy scrimmage. At one point, senior center Mohamed Berte asked if his players were playing soccer instead of basketball. Head coach Scott Nagy realized that the theme for the night was having fun. He along with Johnston both thanked the fans for their support in past and the upcoming season.
“We are very humbled by you, the fans,” said Nagy.
After the coaches thanked the fans, the night concluded with the dunk contest. The fans, via applause, appointed Berte the winner. The senior from the Ivory Coast used a pass off the short side of the rim by freshmen Michael Palarca and flushed the dunk with authority. The Sioux City, Iowa native got creative via his teammates. Fellow Iowan Thomas Bassett gave an alley-hoop in the stands, eight rows up to which Bassett followed by slamming the dunk which excited the crowd.
“It was great,” said Bassett.
#1.883224:2833051871.jpg:midnightmadnessslamdunk.jn.jpg:Dale Moss takes his first attempt in the slam dunk contest at Midnight Madness Minus 2 on Friday, October 12.: