The Fifth Annual Midnight Mayhem

Sara Conroy, Sports Editor

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Poutine and basketball? An unlikely pair, but that’s how the Cougars roll with big sporting events at Clark University. Hundreds of Clarkies crammed into a packed Kneller Athletic Center on Thursday “night” to watch the Men’s Basketball team take on Worcester State in the fifth annual Midnight Mayhem game. Fans old and new lined the court at 12:01am on Friday, November 9 for tip-off.

Even if students weren’t big sports fans, it was certainly worth the trip across campus to the athletic center on Thursday night. Before the main event, clubs and organizations on campus gathered to give students a chance to win free food and prizes. The Undergraduate Student Council gave out pupusas, there was free pizza from the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), and there were plenty of other tables to visit. The first 400 people in the doors at the event also got a free t-shirt, which you could see many fans sporting at the game. SAAC was also handing out meal tickets to fans, which could be redeemed at the Melt food truck for fries or poutine. As the game drew near, the tablers started packing up and fans raced to vie for the best seats in the house.

A sea of students, parents, and local fans covered nearly every inch of the home side. Athletic Director, Trish Cronin, and other faculty managing the game had to work throughout the night to keep crowds of students from encroaching on the court. Student employees taking stats at the game could be seen intently prepping for what would be two hours of near chaos at the stats table. As the teams came onto the court for pre-game warm-ups, the Worcester State team was met with a resounding ‘boo’ from the Clark student fan section, but the Lancers had their own section of fans which matched the Cougar’s energy in the room.

Students pulled out their phones to document the moment, as the clock counted down the final seconds before the start of the game and the main referee blew his whistle. It’s not every day that a basketball game starts at midnight.

Throughout the first half, the Cougars dominated play. Hitting big shots and racking up points to spur an already animated crowd. As the two teams entered the halftime break, the Cougars were up by four points and in high spirits. But the game had only just gotten started. When Worcester State Lancers came back out onto the court they showed up ready to play and with a vengeance from the first half. While the play was still evenly matched throughout the first quarter of the second half, the Cougars faced a really tough defense from Worcester State in the last quarter. The Lancers were able to stump the Cougars on several runs and held their advantage throughout the last ten minutes of the game.

When the final buzzer blew Worcester State was up 78-70. The end result certainly wasn’t what the Cougars wanted and as most students rushed out of the Athletic Center nearing 2am in the morning, the men’s basketball team members were visibly frustrated with the result. Even so, Biko Gayman (’21), Tyler Davern (‘23), and several other team members had a good showing for their first game of the season. Gayman scored 27 of the teams 70 points and Davern kept the Cougars competitive with a total of 9 rebounds in the game.

Despite the unfortunate result, the event could still be considered a success for the Clark athletics community. Hundreds of students attended the event to support the men’s basketball team in the biggest game across all sports at Clark. Athletes across campus train countless hours in and out of season to represent their University in competitive athletics. While they train because they love the sport and their opportunities as an athlete are immense, having members of the Clark community show-out for their games means a lot to our student-athletes. 

If you want to catch more of the men’s and women’s basketball games this year, you need only to look at the Clark athletics schedule here in the Scarlet or online at ClarkAthletics.com. Check back into the Scarlet next week for an update on the shift from fall to winter sports at Clark.