MOREHEAD, Ky. – Contests against postseason and tournament contenders North Carolina State, West Virginia, College of Charleston, Ball State, Bucknell and Princeton highlight a highly competitive 2011-12 slate for the Morehead State men’s basketball team, as released this week.
The schedule features 13 home games for the Eagles, including eight against Ohio Valley Conference opponents as MSU defends its 2010-11 OVC championship. Game times for all contests will be released at a later date.
“This is arguably the most challenging schedule that we’ve had since I have been head coach at Morehead State. We play two high level programs in North Carolina State and West Virginia and several mid-major programs that will be picked at or near the top of their conference,” said sixth-year coach Donnie Tyndall. “This schedule will put our team to the test each night and our players are looking forward to facing the challenge.”
The Eagles will leap from two exhibition contests against Mountain State (Nov. 3) and St. Catharine (Nov. 9) into a tough road swing against Atlantic Coast Conference member North Carolina State (Nov. 13) and NIT participant College of Charleston (Nov. 15).
MSU’s difficult non-conference schedule does not end there, but is just beginning. Of the eight non-conference foes the Eagles face, three punched a ticket to the NCAA tournament (Bucknell, Princeton and West Virginia) and two participated in the NIT (College of Charleston and Kent State).
Following a home opening contest against Asbury on Nov. 17, the Eagles travel to Charleston, W. Va., to face WVU on Nov. 22. West Virginia made it deep in the NCAA tournament last season, defeating Clemson before falling to Kentucky in the third round.
The Eagles face three of their remaining non-conference challengers West Alabama (Nov. 25), Princeton (Nov. 26), and Bucknell (Nov. 27) in the TicketCity Legends Classic in Lewisburg, Pa., following a brief Thanksgiving break. MSU takes on perennial Mid American Conference front runner Kent State Dec. 1 before returning home to play Mid Continent (Dec. 4), Illinois State (Dec. 7) and South Dakota (Dec. 10).
The OVC schedule begins with a trip Cape Girardeau, Mo., on Dec. 28 to face Southeast Missouri, a team the Eagles swept in the regular season last year. MSU returns to the friendly confines of Johnson Arena in a New Year’s Eve matchup against Austin Peay Dec. 31.
Two highlights in MSU’s conference calendar include a home engagement against arch-rival Eastern Kentucky on Jan. 14 followed by a home matchup against Austin Peay (Jan. 18).