Hoops for Hope

Tarleton Men’s Basketball brings church to the court

On Wednesday, Feb. 16, Wisdom Gym was full with a sold-out arena, and a lot of white shirts. The Men’s Basketball team took on Utah Valley in a Western Athletic Conference matchup. The game totaled 3,017 fans in attendance, and the atmosphere was breathtaking. While the Texans lost their battle to the Wolverines, the fans did not disappoint, and the “White Out Wisdom” theme made for great scenery. 

The final score of the game was 69-56, as the Texans dropped to 6-7 in WAC play. The matchup was a battle, but ultimately Tarleton found themselves struggling with rebounds. The Wolverines picked up 45 rebounds in relation to the Texans who had 21. The Texans also struggled with getting their shots to fall. They shot only 18-54 from the field and 6-24 from the three-point line. 

Though the Texans struggled to shoot, they proved a battlefront with their 21 turnovers resulting in 21 points, and only turned it over nine times themselves. 

The game started with a 12 point lead by Utah Valley 19-7. With under five minutes left to play in the first half, and the Texans down 30-20, Montre Gipson and Noah McDavid came in clutch with three three-point shots and Javontae Hopkins with a breakaway dunk. This put the score at 35-35 going into the halftime break. 

In the second half, the Texans and the Wolverines went back and forth, with neither team leading by more than 6 points for 14 minutes. With 8:11 remaining, and the Wolverines up 52-49, they ultimately secured the score with a 17-7 run and hushed the Tarleton crowd. 

Tre Gipson and Freddy Hicks finished the matchup with 14 points each. Gipson also had six rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Hicks recorded five assists and two rebounds. 

The Texans have two home games left to play in the 2021-22 season. One against The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley,  and the last against Lamar University. Both games will tip-off at 7 p.m. with hopes of filling Wisdom Gym again.

Following the game against the wolverines, students made their way to the volleyball gym for a church service hosted by Timber Ridge On Campus, TROC. Timber Ridge Church was started 10 years ago in Stephenville, eventually leading to the monthly meeting of TROC in 2015. 

On a typical Wednesday evening, roughly 400 Tarleton and Ranger College students gather at Timber Ridge Church, partaking in worship and a sermon from either the lead pastors, Pastors Nic and Johanna Burleson, or even some fellow Tarleton students who are part of the TROC Lead Team.

Tarleton Athletics Marketing Team reached out to Timber Ridge with the idea to work together, and from there, Hoops for Hope was brought to life. Since the men’s basketball game fell on the same day as TROC, the best way to help ensure those who wanted to attend both had that opportunity, was to move TROC to Wisdom Gym for a night.

‘’We wanted to show our support for the Tarleton Basketball Program while providing a positive place for students to gather and connect on campus with God and others,’’ stated Nic Burleson. 

The service consisted of six songs and a message about hope from Pastor Nic. Although the service was only about an hour long, there was lots of planning and preparation that happened prior to the event.

 TROC lead team members Adrian Manning and Gabriel Odebunmi played the largest role in planning out what the night should look like and executing the plans to turn that vision into reality. TROC has played a role on the Tarleton campus since 2011 and still has a very lively presence at the university. Every Wednesday TROC volunteers can be found doing outreach on campus in an effort to connect with fellow Tarleton students.

 ‘’For me, Timber Ridge has been a place to experience growth,’’ stated Gabe Odebunmi.

Timber Ridge Church has Sunday services at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. and the college ministry, TROC, at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays.