NEWBERRY, S.C. - Newberry College men's basketball coach Jeremy Luther released the 2008-09 men's basketball schedule today. The schedule will be highlighted by 16 home games in Eleazer Arena, including a seven-game homestand over the holidays.
Newberry is coming off of a 12-16 overall record in 2007-08 and a 5-9 South Atlantic Conference record. However, the scarlet and gray return all five starters and the majority of the reserves, as well as a talented signing class.
"We are very excited about the upcoming season," Luther said. "We return our top seven players and have added some much needed depth. Our schedule sets up really good for us with 11 of our first 16 games at home and a total of 16 home games.
"We want to get off to a fast start and we hope with so many home games, we can get some momentum heading into conference play. Heading into our second year as a staff we are looking to make big strides in the building process of taking this program to the next level," Luther added.
Newberry will start off on the road against Conference Carolinas opponent St. Andrews Presbyterian College on November 15. The season opener is the first leg of a home-and-home series in 2008-09. SAPC will visit Newberry on December 30. Newberry and the Knights have not faced off since the season opener in 2003-04.
The home opener will take place on November 19 against the Flying Fleet of Erskine College. The series between Newberry and Erskine has been hard-fought over the last two seasons, with the 2006-07 matchup coming down to a Newberry buzzer-beater and Erskine winning the 2007-08 game in overtime. Newberry will then host Carver Bible College for the first time on November 22.
Newberry will take a short trip to Columbia to take on Allen University on November 25 for the first half of a home-and-home, with the return leg in Newberry on January 17. The scarlet and gray's final road game before conference play will take place on November 29, when Newberry will play Limestone College in Gaffney.
Lees-McRae College will be the first of seven consecutive home opponents when Newberry takes on the Bobcats on December 2.
South Atlantic Conference play opens on December 6, when Newberry hosts Wingate University. North Georgia College and State visits Newberry for the second straight year on December 13, and Newberry will play local rivals Limestone (December 16) and Lander (December 18) before Christmas.
The 2009 calendar year begins with a home conference matchup against Carson-Newman College on January 3, followed by road games at Mars Hill on January 7 and Lenoir-Rhyne on January 10. Newberry returns to the Palmetto State for a two-game homestand against Lincoln Memorial and Allen. Three of the final four games in January will take place on the road, with a January 24 home game against Catawba sandwiched between them.
Four of the seven games in February will take place in Eleazer Arena, with home matchups against Mars Hill, Lenoir-Rhyne, Tusculum and Senior Night on February 25 against Brevard. The regular season will close on the road at Lincoln Memorial on February 28.
The Food Lion South Alantic Conference Tournament will open on Wednesday, March 4, with the first round on campus sites. The semifinals and finals will take place on March 8 and 9 at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, N.C.