Quinnipiac University held its annual Midnight Madness on Nov. 14, renamed this year as Thursday Night Madness, at the Burt Kahn basketball court located in the Athletic Center, and was successful in bringing recognition to the school’s athletic tradition as well as introducing some new changes.
Capped off by a highly entertaining effort by the Men’s Basketball team, who dominated the Connecticut Stars to a 105-85 finish, Quinnipiac celebrated the opening of the Athletic Center expansion and the unveiling of its new mascot, “Boomer” the Bobcat.
As the crowd began to empty following the opening festivities, the real action of the evening began.
The women’s basketball team, led by head coach Tricia Sacca-Fabbri, split up into two teams (Blue and Grey) to participate in a 15 minute scrimmage. The Grey team, sparked by good performances from junior forward Sarah Esidore (8 pts.) and junior Guard Lindsey O’Neil (5 pts.) defeated the Blue team 24-19.
The match was fast paced, and the team showed their ability to rebound efficiently and move the ball quickly. Points from the three-point line, however were hard to come by, and the game remained low scoring during the first few minutes of action.
Following the women’s game was the main event of the night, featuring the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team and the Troy Bradford All-Stars. The men’s team put on an entertaining show, controlling the court from the get-go.
Senior Jeremy Bishop sent the crowd into an uproar when he completed an ally-oop midway through the first quarter, setting the tone for the rest of the game. In total, thirteen players scored, including 26 points from sophomore Rob Monroe, 22 from Kason Mims, and 16 from Rashuan Banjo. The team was equally successful at rebounding and forcing turnovers, but still thought they could have played better.
“We can always do a better job no matter what the outcome. We thought that we did what we had to do out there, but there is still some fine tuning left to work on before the season starts,” said sophomore starter C.J. Vick, who recorded eight points, five assists, and nine rebounds.
The event, which was sponsored by Student Government, featured musical entertainment from Dave Binder, as well as performances by the QU Dance Company, Dance Mode, Kickline, and the cheerleading squad.
In between performances, two students from each class participated in a basketball shooting accuracy contest. When the opening festivities concluded, the event showcased each athletic team and their coaches by having them make an entrance through center court. The response from the crowd was loud and supportive.
“It was great that everyone showed their appreciation for all of the teams fairly, the atmosphere was really exciting,” said freshman tennis player Jon Russo.
Most teams dressed in warm up jackets and khaki pants, but stand outs were the men’s Ice Hockey team who wore formal suits.
Women’s volley-ball coach Makeba Davis displayed his enthusiasm by making his entrance with a back flip.
“I think the talent of the basketball team brings great recognition to the other sports and gives everyone a chance to show who they are,” said Makeba, who also participated in the three on three tournament at half time of the men’s game.
One of the highlights of the night was the appearance of “Boomer” the Bobcat, an animated furry mascot with blue streaks on his face, large puffy feet and blue paws. “Boomer” charged around the court to a standing ovation with the Rocky theme “Eye of the Tiger” blasting through the speakers. The overall fan reaction to the new mascot was positive.
Senior Athletic Training/ Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy major Ken Kosior had one of the positive reactions.
“Boomer’s costume is one of the best I’ve seen. It looks like a lot of effort was put into making him as good as possible, and I think they succeeded.”
The event took place on the same day as the new addition to the athletic center was opened. The addition brings a new track and four new basketball courts next to the Fitness Center.