EIU Releases Men's Basketball Schedule

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Published on August 16 2012 5:29 pm
Last Updated on August 16 2012 5:29 pm
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. -- Eastern Illinois men's basketball will face nine teams that reached post-season play last year as new head coach Jay Spoonhour released the Panthers 2012-13 schedule.  Included in that schedule are 14 regular season home games and an exhibition game against Trinity International Monday, Nov. 5.

EIU's non-conference schedule consists of home games with Rochester College, Houston Baptist, Central Arkansas, Western Illinois and Toledo.  EIU's non-conference road schedule includes a tournament at Eastern Michigan and games at Bradley, Stony Brook, Saint Louis, Drake and Chicago State.  EIU will also play a road game in the ESPNU Sears Bracketbuster series.

“Like every school, we are trying to get as many quality home games as we can for our season ticket holders,” said Spoonhour.  “I think the WIU series is a very good one for both of our schools.”

Belmont, Murray State and Saint Louis all played in the NCAA Tournament last season.  Stony Brook played in the NIT.  Drake, Toledo, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and Western Illinois played in the CIT and CBI Tournaments.

“The Saint Louis game right before Christmas could be a really fun trip for our fans, although there won’t be anything fun about the game itself,” said Spoonhour.  “SLU will probably start the season in the Top 20.”

This season the OVC will split into two divisions with the addition of Belmont to the league.  EIU's division will include Austin Peay, Murray State, SIU Edwardsville, Southeast Missouri and UT Martin.  The Panthers will play home-and-home games against each of those schools.  The other division includes Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech.  EIU will host Belmont, JSU and TTU.  The Panthers play at EKU, MSU and TSU.

“The addition of Belmont to the league, for all intents and purposes, makes the OVC twice as tough a conference as it was last year,” Spoonhour said.  “I think folks know how tough a conference we have and trust me, Belmont will only strengthen it.”

The regular season will open at Bradley as the Panthers face the Braves for the second time in three seasons.  The regular season home opener is against Wright State Tuesday, Nov. 13.