CINCINNATI - The 2017-18 Mount St. Joseph University men's basketball schedule announced Tuesday includes a challenging nonconference lineup and 18 games in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Overall, the schedule includes 13 home games, 10 games on the road and two neutral site games.
The Lions return their top five scorers from last year's squad that broke the program's single season wins record posting a 20-7 overall mark, finishing second in the final HCAC standings with a 14-4 record.
"This is one of the toughest if not the toughest non-league schedules we've put together since we've been at The Mount. We are playing some of the best teams in the Midwest and the country," Head Coach Toby Carrigan said.
"We have a veteran team with five seniors and a lot of really talented underclassmen so we're excited about the challenge and the opportunity to play this type of high level competition."
The 20th season of Mount basketball opens up (Nov. 4th) with a road exhibition game at Division II power Bellarmine University. The Knights are ranked as the fourth best D-II team in the country preseason by Street & Smith. The Lions will then travel to begin Division III play, as they take part in the inaugural Great Lakes Invitational (Nov. 17th & 18th) hosted by Marietta College. The Mount will match up against Wittenberg University and Dickinson College in the tournament.
The Mount welcomes Wilmington College to the Harrington Center for the home opener (Nov. 21st). The Annual MSJ Tip-Off Classic follows the last weekend of November. The Mount will square off against Case Western Reserve University in game one on Saturday and Washington University (St. Louis) in game 2 on Sunday.
The first four games of the HCAC schedule are played before the New Year where the Lions will host Manchester University (Dec. 2nd), a rematch of last year's HCAC Tournament Semifinal round where MSJ beat the Spartans 75-61. The Lions hit the road to take on Rose-Hulman (Dec. 6th) and Anderson University (Dec. 9th) before returning to the Harrington Center to host Earlham College (Dec. 16th).
The final two games of 2017 are nonconference matchups against OAC member Capital University (Dec. 18th) in Columbus, OH. The Lions take on friendly cross-river rival Thomas More College in the Bridge Shootout (Dec. 30th) in the Harrington Center before the Holiday break.
In 2018, the always tough HCAC schedule resumes with seven home contests and seven on the road. The Mount is vying for their third regular season championship in the last four years.
On February 3rd, Mount Basketball will host its annual Alumni game before the Men's and Women's games. MSJ will also host Mount Madness, an annual event which raises money for the "Forever 22 Scholarship Fund", a scholarship set up in honor of former MSJ women's basketball player, the late Lauren Hill, who captured national attention and the hearts of so many across the country who played in her first college basketball game while battling DIPG, a form a brain cancer.
Mount Basketball will honor the five seniors on this year's squad before the game on February 7th versus Transylvania University, the final home game of the season. The Mount will end their season on the road with three consecutive away contests at Franklin, Hanover and finally Earlham.
The quarterfinals of the HCAC tournament will be played on February 20th at the higher seed. The semifinals and championship rounds will be played at the #1 seed of the regular season on Feb. 23rd & 24th.