From Stephen F. Austin State University
Nacogdoches, TX (News Release) - Featuring the program's largest slate of home games in over three decades, second-year head coach Kyle Keller unveiled the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team's complete 2017-18 schedule Wednesday afternoon. Throughout the team's 31-game regular season journey, the 'Jacks will do battle with 25 opponents across six different states.
Not since the 1985-86 season have the 'Jacks hosted 17 or more games inside William R. Johnson Coliseum, but that is the case for 2017-18. Owners of one of the nation's second-highest home court winning percentage since 2012-13, SFA opens its latest campaign in Farmville, Va., against Longwood on Saturday, Nov. 11, before returning home for five of the next six games.
"To have the opportunity to host eight games on our home court prior to Christmas - including some against regional rivals and teams from many of the country's premier conferences - adds an exciting element to our early-season schedule," remarked Keller.
Following their season-opening road trip to Virginia, SFA returns home to make their 2017-18 William R. Johnson Coliseum debut by hosting St. Edward's on Wednesday, Nov. 15. That showdown against the Hilltoppers starts a series of three home games in four days that continues with a game against LeTourneau (Thursday, Nov. 16) and ends with a meeting against Howard Payne (Saturday, Nov. 18).
Highlighting SFA's 13-game non-conference schedule are road trips to three SEC schools - Mississippi State (Wednesday, Nov. 22), LSU (Saturday, Dec. 16) and Missouri (Tuesday, Dec. 19) - in addition to home confrontations against opponents such as Florida A&M (Sunday, Nov. 26), North Dakota State (Tuesday, Nov. 28), Louisiana-Monroe (Saturday, Dec. 2), Rice (Saturday, Dec. 9) and Arlington Baptist (Thursday, Dec. 21).
"We have also continued to challenge ourselves with three SEC road games that will help us prepare for an extremely tough Southland Conference schedule while giving the program national exposure," Keller concluded.
A quest for the team's fifth Southland Conference title in since 2012-13 begins on Thursday, Dec. 28, when SFA starts its 18-game league slate with a journey to Southeastern Louisiana. Nicholls serves as the first Southland opponent for the 'Jacks in 2018 as the Colonels step foot inside William R. Johnson Coliseum on Wednesday, Jan. 3, before SFA plays the first of its three road games in the month on Saturday, Jan. 6 at Northwestern State. The two remaining January road trips the 'Jacks take will be to Abilene Christian (Wednesday, Jan. 17) and to Central Arkansas (Wednesday, Jan. 24).
Remaining home games in the month of January include dates with reigning Southland Conference titleholder and 2017 NCAA Tournament representative New Orleans (Wednesday, Jan. 10), Incarnate Word (Saturday, Jan. 13), age-old Piney Woods rival Sam Houston State (Wednesday, Jan. 27) and Houston Baptist (Saturday, Jan. 31).
Of the eight February games the 'Jacks will play, four will take place at home. Visitors to Nacogdoches that month include Northwestern State (Saturday, Feb. 10), Central Arkansas (Wednesday, Feb. 21), Lamar (Saturday, Feb. 24) and SFA's final home appearance of the season on Wednesday, Feb. 28 against Abilene Christian.
SFA's four road games in February send the 'Jacks to Lamar (Saturday, Feb. 3), McNeese (Thursday, Feb. 8), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Wednesday, Feb. 14) and Incarnate Word (Saturday, Feb. 17). In order to close out the regular season, SFA has to make a March trip to Huntsville, Texas, where they will play their second game of the year against Sam Houston State (Saturday, March 3).