North Texas Daily

Tip-Off Madness primes students for basketball season

Tip-Off Madness primes students for basketball season

October 17
01:05 2012

Tim Cato / Staff Writer

Basketball does not start until November for UNT, but in Denton basketball season feels like it’s already in full swing.

The Mean Green kicked off their season with Tip-Off Madness, a “Midnight Madness”-style event Monday night, where players were introduced and festivities were held to engage the 3,000-plus fans who went to the Super Pit.

”We never have gone to a true Midnight Madness. We want to get the fans exposed to what’s going on,” Athletic Director Rick Villarreal said. “It was just a chance to get people out, give them some free food, give them a chance to see what’s going on, and I tell you, I was just really excited by the turnout by students and by our fans on a Monday night.”

With the sounds from the UNT drumline still resonating in the building, the women’s team opened up with a scrimmage.

Most players took the contest at half-court speed, but the two point guards, juniors Laura McCoy and Hannah Christian, were matched up against each other and seemed determined to top the other. McCoy’s green team won out 19-11, highlighted by her baseline crossover that resulted in a layup.

The most exciting moment of the night came next, when two fans were given three shots to win $250 by hitting a shot from half-court. PCAS sophomore Enyinnaya Nduka only needed one attempt, swishing a half-courter as calmly as he might shoot a layup.

“Every time I’m playing out at the [Pohl Recreation Center] I usually shoot half-courts before I go home,” Nduka said. “I had three chances, so I knew I was going to make one.”

The men’s scrimmage came next, featuring two 10-minute halves. Few of the players, if any, had any interest in playing defense, so the scrimmage devolved into a dunk show.

Even though it was just an exhibition, the score was tied at 43-43 with only a few seconds remaining, until sophomore guard Jordan Williams drove by his man for a huge, scrimmage-winning dunk, giving the crowd something to get excited about.

The other two main events of the evening were the dunk contest and the three-point competition. While sophomore forward Tony Mitchell was by far the favorite to win the dunk contest, it was Williams who came away with the upset with a perfect 50 on his final dunk.

The 3-point competition was taken down to the wire by freshman guard Clarke Overlander and McCoy, who tied in the first round and again in an overtime round. After Overlander missed all three of his shots in the final round, McCoy knew she could make him pay.

“It gave me a little confidence,” she said. “I practice that shot a lot.”

McCoy swished home the first shot she attempted, winning the competition and providing a great end to the first ever Tip-Off Madness.

The women’s team will play in the Super Pit on Nov. 12 against Texas State for the first game of the year, and the men’s team kicks off the season with an exhibition against East Central on Nov. 1.

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