The Dragons mens team earned a weekend sweep in conference play.
On Friday night the team beat University of Mary 92-77 led by senior guard Anthony Tucker with 23 points and 10 assists.
On Saturday night, the regular season concluded with the Dragon marketing team attempting to break the record attendance in Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse by offering a fun atmosphere for the crowd and incentives that included cash, free food and shirts for the loudest fans.
Saturday marked the season’s senior night for both the women’s and men’s basketball team. It was the last home game of the season and also the annual Fill the Fieldhouse event for Dragon athletics with many interactive contests for fans.
Some of the prizes given away were free tacos, a textbook voucher, $500 in gift cards, 250 T-shirts, an iPad mini and cash. The biggest prize was the possibility of $4,500 in cash.
Dragon fan Ryan Roth had no inclination it would be him. Upon hearing his name called, Roth was surprised and excited to be able to compete for such a prize.
“I honestly sign up for millions of things and never win anything,” Roth said. “So when Jon called my name I was super excited.”
Roth played a game at the men’s half time that was like the former NBC show Deal or No Deal, brought to the fieldhouse by Valley Imports. Roth was guaranteed to not walk away empty handed because the cash prizes went from $1 up to $4500. Lady luck was on Roth’s side. He chose case two in his bonus round and that just so happened to be the grand prize of $4,500 in cash.
“I can’t even explain the feeling,” Roth said. “I plan to spend the money on my children.”
The excitement continued on the court as both the men’s and women’s teams finished their respective seasons with wins. Dragon athletics hoped to top the current record of 1,807 from 2010 but fell short with 1,297 attending. But they still made it a memorable night for both Dragon teams and the crowd with a win for not only MSUM but a lucky fan as well.
The Dragons started the game on a 19-3 run and held the lead until the clock struck zero. Tucker led the Dragons with 20 points and freshman guard Tyler Vaughan dropped 14 points.
Senior forward Alex Novak had a record setting night in his final regular season game as a Dragon. Walt Whitaker previously held since 1982 with a record of 1,017 rebounds.
The Dragons will host Southwest Minnesota State University at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in the first round of the NSIC tournament.
BY JANAE BOSWELL
PHOTOS BY JESSICA FLEMING