Purple Pandemonium

UNA forward Jere Vucica scores while Lazar Petrov waits for the rebound.

The Lions basketball teams split into four teams and competed against each other during Purple Pandemonium Oct. 23 in Flowers Hall.

The event allowed for each team to showcase their new teammates in a fun live tournament while allowing Residence Life to inspire students to come out and support the basketball team.

“This was a fun event to get a glance at the team and for the guys to have fun,” said Bobby Champagne, men’s head basketball coach.

The event started out with a DJ and led into all of the team members, each with a T-shirt or plastic ball to hand out as souvenirs as they came onto the court.

The men’s basketball team took the court with the tipoff with  evenly matched teams keeping pace with each another.

The periods alternated between teams of men and teams of women, one side purple and the other grey and white.

The women came onto the court during the second period, tying the game up 12-12 at the half.

The men came onto the court at the third period and scored 11 goals between the two teams, most of them 3-pointers scored by Wes Long, Bruce Adams and Jere Vucica.

Members of the audience were chosen to play a round of cornhole to decide which team would receive an extra five points to their score. The white, or away, team won, and the game advanced to the fourth period.

The women finished the game with three scores for the purple and two for the white, ending the game at 37-33.

Champagne expected this year to be better than last, citing last year’s “mediocre” season.

Between each period, Residence Life sponsored contests where students could compete to win TVs, DVDs and a paid dorm for the spring 2013 season.

“Last year, Res Life and Athletics got together to create an event to promote basketball and school spirit,” said Jennifer Ballard, assistant director of residence life for success initiatives.

In years past, the number in attendance for basketball was significantly smaller, so Ballard created a fun event to encourage students to come out and support their team.

“Athletics offered the TVs and Res Life offered the spring scholarship in an effort to increase school spirit,” Ballard said. “There was a lot of emphasis on football and not on basketball.”

The two teams introduced several new players at Purple Pandemonium.

However, Champagne said no one particular person struck his mind as exceptional.

“They’re all good players,” Champagne said.

The Gulf South Conference poll has UNA listed in fifth in conference standings.

UNA’s first season game is Nov. 12 after both teams play two exhibition games.