Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men’s basketball will play 15 regular season home games, including against SIU Carbondale, as part of the 2018-19 season scheduled revealed today by head coach Jon Harris.
The 15 home games are the most in SIUE’s Division I era. Including an exhibition contest, Cougar fans will have 16 opportunities to see SIUE at Vadalabene Center.
The Cougars also will return to the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic in December.
“We are really excited about our schedule this upcoming season,” said Harris, a graduate of Edwardsville High School entering his third season at the Cougars’ helm. “It will provide great balance with six nonconference home games, some strong road environments and a great destination event for our student-athletes.”
SIUE will welcome NCAA Division II opponent Kentucky State to the Vadalabene Center (Nov. 2) for an exhibition contest before opening the regular season with Pacific (Nov. 6). Winthrop (Nov. 10) and Incarnate Word (Nov. 25) visit Edwardsville ahead of the matchup with the Salukis (Dec. 1).
The meeting with SIU Carbondale marks the eighth consecutive year the sister schools have squared off in men’s basketball. It is the fourth time the schools have met at Vadalabene Center since SIUE’s move to Division I.
Nonconference play concludes with a home game against Missouri S&T (Dec. 30).
“Our nonconference home slate will be headlined by Carbondale and a strong Winthrop team that won 19 games a season ago,” Harris said. “We’ll also host good up-and-coming teams like Pacific, which is led by Damon Stoudemire.”
SIUE makes early season trips to Valparaiso (Nov. 21) and Western Illinois (Nov. 28) before action picks up in the Las Vegas Classic.
As part of the tournament, the Cougars travel to Drake (Dec. 17) and Washington State (Dec. 19) ahead of a pair of games at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. SIUE faces Cal State Northridge (Dec. 22) and then will play either Northern Colorado or Rider (Dec. 23).
“Traveling to Washington State, Drake, and Valparaiso, among others, will prepare us for hostile environments in the OVC, and we’ll head to Las Vegas just before Christmas,” Harris said.
For the second year in a row, the Ohio Valley Conference schedule features 18 games. SIUE will have home games with Southeast Missouri (Jan. 3), Austin Peay (Jan. 17), Murray State (Jan. 19), Morehead State (Jan. 31), Eastern Kentucky (Feb. 2), Eastern Illinois (Feb. 14), UT Martin (Feb. 16), Tennessee Tech (Feb. 28) and Jacksonville State (Mar. 2).
The Cougars will play conference road games at Eastern Illinois (Jan. 5), Tennessee Tech (Jan. 10), Jacksonville State (Jan. 12), Southeast Missouri (Jan. 24), UT Martin (Jan. 26), Austin Peay (Feb. 7), Murray State (Feb. 9), Tennessee State (Feb. 21) and Belmont (Feb. 23).
“As always, our league slate will be a bear,” Harris added. “We’ll open up with three out of four on the road, and five of our first eight. “We anticipate a very competitive year in the OVC as each team should take another step forward.”
The OVC Tournament returns to Evansville, Indiana, for the second consecutive year. The Championship will play out March 6-9 at the Ford Center.
“We encourage you to get behind this team,” Harris said. “We’ll be fun to watch.”