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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's basketball has revealed its 2017-18 schedule, which features 13 regular season home games and a newly-expanded 18-game Ohio Valley Conference schedule.
"We are excited for the challenge," SIUE Head Coach Jon Harris said. "We will consistently put together a schedule that will make this team compete every night. There will be great games for our fans as well as hostile road environments that will force us to grow quickly."
The Cougars will open the home slate with an exhibition game against NAIA foe Brescia on Sun., Nov. 5.
SIUE's regular season slate opens Nov. 10 on the road at Big Ten opponent Purdue, which advanced to the Sweet 16 in last year's NCAA Tournament. The Cougars also will travel for games at Stetson (Nov. 18), Creighton, which was an NCAA Tournament team last year (Nov. 25), SIU Carbondale (Nov. 29), IPFW (Dec. 3), IUPUI (Dec. 6) and Central Michigan (Dec. 22).
Home nonconference games include the newest member of the Missouri Valley Conference, Valparaiso (Nov. 15), Western Illinois (Nov. 22), South Alabama (Dec. 10) and Chicago State (Dec. 19).
"This year's schedule will test our team from the outset-opening at Purdue," Harris added. "We feel that your non-league slate should be structured to prepare you for OVC play. There's no question that this year's schedule will do just that."
The 18-game OVC schedule opens with four consecutive road games. The Cougars will be on the road at Austin Peay (Dec. 28), Murray State (Dec. 30), Eastern Kentucky (Jan. 4) and Morehead State (Jan. 6) to start the conference schedule.
Other road OVC games include Tennessee State (Jan. 25), Belmont (Jan. 27), UT Martin (Feb. 15), Southeast Missouri (Feb. 17) and Eastern Illinois (Feb. 24).
The OVC home schedule will feature games with Tennessee State (Jan. 11), Belmont (Jan. 13), Southeast Missouri (Jan. 18), UT Martin (Jan. 20), Tennessee Tech (Feb. 1), Jacksonville State (Feb. 3), Eastern Illinois (Feb. 8), Murray State (Feb. 10) and Austin Peay (Feb. 22).
"We appreciate the fans who have been with us from day one, and we challenge other community members to get behind this team," Harris said. "This group will be fun to watch, and will play an exciting brand of basketball. We need 'the 618' with us every night! We are preparing diligently to represent you. This is your team. Join the #eVILLEution! #Team618"
For the first time, the OVC Tournament will take place at Evansville, Indiana's, Ford Center February 28-March 3. The tournament had been played in Nashville, Tennessee, in 23 of the previous 24 seasons.
The schedule remains subject to change due to television contracts. Times will be announced at a later date.