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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Winning season leads to high attendance

Students+in+Reed+hold+up+posters+found+in+The+Battalion.
Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel

Students in Reed hold up posters found in The Battalion.

The A&M men’s basketball team just secured its first SEC title, and there are many key players to thank for the successful regular season — including the 12th Man.
This season the attendance in Reed Arena hit 13,888 during a men’s game against LSU in January. The trend remained all season, helping the Aggies beat top SEC teams such as Kentucky and Ole Miss.
Sold-out crowds forced the Athletic Department to allocate student seats for big games such as the contest against Iowa State in January. On Saturday, the attendance in Reed Arena hit 12,007 as the Aggies took down Vanderbilt, improving their home record to 17-1.
Sports management junior Jeff Wallace, president of Reed Rowdies — the student support group for the men’s team —  said the energy the student section generated helped A&M defeat the Commodores 76-67.
“I enjoy getting into Reed as soon as the doors open. It’s almost like a calm-before-the-storm feeling,” Wallace said.
“As we get closer to the game, I start to get more and more excited, and by tip-off I am ready to have an impact on the game.”
Wallace said the purpose of the student audience is for students to have fun, but more importantly to be loud and help the team’s momentum.
“I feel the Rowdies give the team energy before every home game,” Wallace said. “When it gets loud inside Reed the intensity picks up and the team goes to work.”
This phenomenon was apparent during the game against the Commodores, said Wallace.
“In the Vanderbilt game, they made many attempts at a comeback, but with each attempt the Ags responded,” Wallace said. “When it was finally time for the Ags to make a run, the Reed Rowdies got loud, intimidated Vanderbilt and squashed any chance of a comeback.”
Wallace said not a lot of planning goes into making the student section rowdy and to making sure Reed has an exciting atmosphere.  
“I think part of the greatness of the in-game atmosphere at Reed is that there is not a ton of organization to it,” Wallace said. “I believe the best atmospheres are when things are spontaneous and us as students are having fun. As long as it is loud and intimidating to the other team, we are doing our job.”
As an avid fan, Wallace said his support didn’t go to waste this season.
“Seeing the student section that had maybe 100 students for the first exhibition game in November transform into a record-breaking crowd is surreal,” Wallace said. “As fans you go through the emotional ups and downs just as if you were a player on the team, so to come out as SEC Champs is incredible.”
Health senior Nathan Ruiz said he tries to attend every home.
“There have been times where I arrived late and was not allowed entry,” Ruiz said. “It shows how much our fans and students love the basketball team.”
Apart from the students, the alumni section was also full during Saturday’s game and included former A&M head football coach R.C. Slocum. Slocum said he is proud of the Aggies’ season, especially for being in the SEC for such a short period of time.
“I’m just so happy for A&M … There were some naysayers when we went to the SEC, questioning our ability to compete — I never did. I said from day one we’d go in and compete for this league,” Slocum said. “And certainly, one of our major sports — basketball — is demonstrating that today.”

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