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The Experience Of A Social Distanced Gallagher Iba Arena

The limited fans of GIA did not disappoint in the first home game of the 2020 season

When Cade Cunningham and the rest of the freshman that made up the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation signed to the Cowboys last year, everyone talked about packing the gym for every home game. 

The excitement was high, the anticipation was high and the morale of the program was high. Well, with COVID-19 still being around, there must be precautions put into place, one of which is limiting capacity in Gallagher Iba Arena, even with such promise in the 2020-2021 season. 

Saturday night, following an Oklahoma State football game, the basketball team went into Gallagher Iba for their first game of the season, only their second overall. 

The Cowboys would win emphatically 73-56 over Texas Southern from a truly group effort from Cade Cunningham, Rondale Walker and some big time three point shooting from Ferron Flavors Jr. 

The biggest thing I was looking forward to, other than Cade Cunningham, was the atmosphere and feel of the arena. We have experience Boone Pickens Stadium with around 14,000 but what would a Gallagher Iba feel like with less than 3,000 people?

Well, to my surprise, although I should not have been surprised, it was surprisingly good. There was never a time where it felt quiet or dead, probably because the Cowboys were up big so for long, but either way, the crowd was great. Of course, just like normal situations, the crowd got its loudest on big shots or big defensive plays, but it was energetic throughout the entirety of the game. 

Head Coach Mike Boynton said after the game that while he wasn't sure what to expect from the arena, he felt the crowd was great and provided energy for the team to feed off of. He also took a moment to thank all fans who can come out and even those who are supporting from home. 

Rondel Walker also met with the media after the game and he expressed that the crowd definitely played a part in the game. Walker said he has been coming to Cowboy basketball games since his freshman year of high school and that he has always imagined himself playing in the arena. In his Gallagher Iba debut, where he scored 19 points, he said his debut was everything he imagined.