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Pace Shows Plenty Of School Spirit At Basketball Alumni Day

First-year Pace men's basketball coach Pat Kennedy presents his vision for Pace basketball.
First-year Pace men's basketball coach Pat Kennedy presents his vision for Pace basketball. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
A white occurred at Pace on Saturday.
A white occurred at Pace on Saturday. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Pace University celebrated its biggest crowd of the year on Saturday.
Pace University celebrated its biggest crowd of the year on Saturday. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Pace's cheerleaders cheer on the basketball team.
Pace's cheerleaders cheer on the basketball team. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Some of Pace's more enthusiastic fans.
Some of Pace's more enthusiastic fans. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Pace University experienced a whiteout on Saturday.

The Pleasantville-based university celebrated Alumni Day as crowds came out to watch the men's and women's teams battle Bentley University.

The first 1,000 fans received white T-shirts with the slogan "Keep Calm and Root Pace," and the Goldstein Fitness Center was loud all afternoon with fans cheering on the Setters.

"This is the most school spirit I've seen," junior Monique Jordan said. "I'm happy to see so many people come out and support our teams. This is such a good atmosphere."

Right before the buzzer of the women's game versus Bentley, Jeane Drury drained a three, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

"This is a great way to start off the semester," sophomore Justin Fred, a member of the football team, said.

Fred said he believes Pace is in the beginning of a major turnaround with the hiring of men's basketball coach Pat Kennedy and football coach Andrew Rondeau. 

Athletic Director Mark Brown said it was heartwarming to see the fans come out and support the team.

"It's really tremendous," Brown said. "There is so much energy and enthusiasm. We are going in the right direction."

Brown said he believes the Setters' best days are ahead of them as the college and athletic programs continue massive upgrades. 

Brown, who previously worked in minor league baseball, believes he knows what it takes to get people to come to games and hopes every game will soon have the atmosphere that Saturday did.

"We know the improvements that need to be made and the direction we have to go in," Brown said.

Attracting a coach like Kennedy was a huge coup for the university. Kennedy, who coached Florida State to the Elite 8 in 1993, has almost 500 career wins.

"We have lots of momentum," Brown said. "Athletic directors were calling me and asking me how I pulled that off."

Kennedy said he was enjoying his time at Pace.

"It's great for the players to have the crowd behind them," Kennedy said. "They have worked hard. Mark Brown has done a great job. Pace University is a great institution."

The Pace women fell to Bentley 60-45 while the men knocked off Bentley 65-62.