Aug 18, 2013, 10:45 AM EDT
Northeastern will face nine postseason participants and three defending conference champions as part of the 2013-14 men’s basketball non-conference schedule, announced Friday. Trips to Puerto Rico and New Orleans also highlight a challenging slate for the Huskies.
“We are excited about the level of competition we’ll face in our non-conference schedule,” said eighth-year head coach Bill Coen, whose Huskies won the 2012-13 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) regular season championship. “This is a highly competitive schedule that will test our team and prepare us well for CAA play. We’re also thrilled to provide our players and fans the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico and other memorable destinations.”
The 14-game non-conference slate features no fewer than nine games against teams that advanced to postseason play a year ago, and three games against teams that captured conference championships. Northeastern will face NCAA tournament participants Georgetown, Harvard, and VCU, along with NIT selection Stony Brook. The Huskies will host Richmond, which appeared in the College Basketball Invitational, and Boston University and Fairfield, which earned invitations to the CollegeInsider.com tournament. NU also will square off with postseason teams in each round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
In what has become an exciting tradition in Boston basketball, Northeastern and city rival Boston University will open the season in a head-to-head match up. The game, slated for Nov. 10, marks the fourth consecutive season that the local foes will meet in the season opener. The Huskies have won three straight in the rivalry, including an overtime victory in 2011 and a memorable, buzzer-beating thriller at Matthews Arena a season ago. Northeastern has faced BU more than any other team in program history, with this year’s game being the 141st all-time meeting. BU holds a slim 71-69 lead in the series, but NU has won seven of the last nine match ups.
Northeastern then travels to Stony Brook to face the defending America East regular-season champion Seawolves on Nov. 13. Stony Brook finished the 2013 season 25-8 and earned an NIT berth. The meeting will be the 11th between the programs, with NU holding a 6-4 advantage.
The Huskies return home to face Central Connecticut on Saturday, Nov. 16. The game will be a throw back for longtime fans, as NU returns to venerable Cabot Center for the special Homecoming contest. Northeastern leads the series, 9-2, and defeated the Blue Devils, 82-63, last season in New Britain.
Coen’s squad then travels to San Juan to face Big East regular-season champion and NCAA tournament participant Georgetown on Thursday, Nov. 21, in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The Huskies and Hoyas will play at 12:30 p.m. (ET) in a game that will be televised by ESPNU. Other possible opponents in the elite tip-off field include Charlotte, Florida State, Kansas State, Long Beach State, Michigan, and VCU.
The Red and Black will renew its rivalry with VCU in Richmond on Friday, Nov. 29. The Huskies and Rams engaged in a number of memorable battles as CAA foes. VCU won 27 games in 2013 and earned an NCAA tournament bid. NU is 6-8 all-time against VCU, but has won four of the last seven head-to-head meetings.
The Huskies then return home to face another NCAA tournament team on Wednesday, Dec. 4, when defending Ivy League champion Harvard visits Matthews Arena. The meeting will be the first between the programs since 2008 — a 76-71 double-overtime win by Northeastern — and the 50th overall. The rivalry dates to 1920 and NU’s first season of basketball.
The home stand continues on Saturday, Dec. 7, as NU welcomes UAB to the arena. The Blazers defeated the Huskies last season in Birmingham in the only prior meeting.
Following a weeklong break for final exams, Northeastern travels to Fairfield in a matchup of New England foes on Dec. 15. The Stags won 19 games last season to earn a spot in the CollegeInsider.com tournament. The meeting will be the first in 25 years in a series the Huskies lead, 7-1.
From Connecticut, Coen’s team heads south to New Orleans to participate in the Tulane Classic, Dec. 21-22. Opponents for the classic will be announced at a later date.
Northeastern returns home to face the Richmond Spiders on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at Matthews Arena in the first-ever meeting between the programs. Richmond advanced to the CBI tournament and finished 19-15 a season ago.
The Huskies round out the non-conference slate with a trip to historic Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn., to face SEC-member Vanderbilt. The Jan. 4 game will be the first meeting between the schools.
Coming off a 20-win season, a CAA regular-season championship, and an NIT appearance, Northeastern will look to maintain momentum in 2013-14. Juniors Quincy Ford and Reggie Spencer finished last season with 12.2 and 9.8 points per contest, respectively, with each tacking on nearly six rebounds per game. Ford earned All-CAA honors. Fellow junior Demetrius Pollard developed into an important contributor, earning nearly 16 minutes of action per game while coming up with clutch performances against a number of CAA foes. Sophomore David Walker, who emerged as a starter early in the season, chipped in 6.2 points and 2.4 assists per game and added 42 steals during the season, to earn CAA All-Rookie honors. Coen welcomes four newcomers to the program this season, including transfer Scott Eatherton, and freshmen C.J. Hill, Jimmy Marshall, and T.J. Williams.
Northeastern Men’s Basketball
2013-14 Non-Conference Schedule
Sunday, Nov.10 — vs. Boston University
Wednesday, Nov. 13 — at Stony Brook
Saturday, Nov. 16 — Central Connecticut (Cabot Center)
Thursday, Nov. 21 — vs. Georgetown (Puerto Rico Tip-Off), 12:30 p.m., ESPNU
Friday, Nov. 22 — vs. TBD (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
Sunday, Nov. 24 — vs. TBD (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
Friday, Nov. 29 — at VCU
Wednesday, Dec. 4 — Harvard
Saturday, Dec. 7 — UAB
Sunday, Dec. 15 — at Fairfield
Saturday, Dec. 21 — vs. TBD (Tulane Classic)
Sunday, Dec. 22 — vs. TBD (Tulane Classic)
Tuesday, Dec. 31 — Richmond
Saturday, Jan. 4 — at Vanderbilt
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