UCSD students turned out in droves for the annual Spirit Night basketball games Feb. 8. The men’s and women’s games, which took place at RIMAC Arena, capped a weeklong spirit campaign that saw a campus filled with blue and gold posters, banners and other UCSD-themed decorations. Spirit Night is the capstone event of Spirit Month, which kicked off in January at the Triton Jam event and was followed by weeks of student-led activities.. The annual event generally marks the largest turnout for any athletic events and this year’s games proved to be some of the most popular ever. The women’s game, in which the Tritons topped Humboldt State 78–66, drew a third-largest-ever crowd of 1,784, and the men’s game brought in nearly 3,900 fans. The Tritons men’s team won its marquee matchup against the Humboldt State men’s squad 71–60.
Spirit Week doubled as a spirit competition between the six colleges. Through activities hosted on campus, a point system was developed to evaluate college spirit efforts. Each college was ranked on its attendance and efforts at various events. At both Triton Jam and Spirit Night. Eleanor Roosevelt College was named this year’s winner in the college spirit contest.
During home games last month, the UCSD Athletics Department hosted knockout competitions during the halftime shows of the women’s basketball games.
At the All-College Tailgate, students enjoyed entertainment, food and prizes before one of last month’s women’s basketball games. A spirit rally on Feb. 7 served as an opportunity for colleges to compete in a body painting contest, using basketball players’ bodies as canvases.
“Students create an environment that is not only good for our teams but is fun,” Senior Associate Athletics Director Ken Grosse said. “The number of attendees at the [Spirit Night] games helps create an electric playing environment for the players.”
Keeping the crowd entertained during intermissions, the UCSD Cheer Team, the UCSD Dance Team and Triton Twirl Flag Squad put on their own separate performances.
The crowd was tossed candies, sunglasses, Triton Spirit shirts and cookies from The Secret Cookie Service.
“Spirit Night demonstrates our strong support for our athletes as well as building school spirit amongst the entire community,” A.S. Council Campuswide Senator Caeser Feng said. “I feel like if every day was Spirit Night, we would be nicknamed University of California Spirited Community.”