Men's basketball unveils the 2016-17 slate

Men's basketball unveils the 2016-17 slate


SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University men's basketball team and head coach Vince Alexander announced their 2016-17 schedule on Sept. 13. The Lions open up the season in November at the Sunshine State Conference/Gulf South Conference Challenge in Florence, Ala.

Saint Leo hosts 15 opponents in the Marion Bowman Activities Center with five non-conference contests and 10 Sunshine State Conference foes.

"I am excited about this upcoming season," Alexander stated about the upcoming slate. "We have an aggressive schedule, but I think we're up for the challenge."

To start the season, the Lions travel to where their season ended a year ago, Alabama, this time, they head to Florence to face the team that knocked them out of the 2016 NCAA tournament. In early March 2016, Saint Leo traveled to the University of Alabama-Huntsville to compete in the NCAA South Regional, falling to host Ala.-Huntsville 98-81.

The rematch with the UAH Chargers is set for Nov. 12 in the Sunshine State/Gulf South Challenge to open the season. The Lions will then take on this year's host, North Alabama on Nov. 13 before heading back to Florida.

"The Conference Challenge is a great thing because not only does it give you two extra games early in the season, but it provides match-ups against quality opponents. It allows us to get a read on where we lie in the region at the beginning of the season, knowing we will be playing the teams we will be facing in March."

"Going toe-to-toe with Ala.-Huntsville again, and kicking off the year with them, will be a good test to open the season. Last year, we won the first meeting in overtime (93-90) at home and had to face them in the NCAA regional, with an unfavorable outcome, but we are aiming to right that this year."

An early SSC contest falls in as the first mid-week game of the year on Nov. 16 at Florida Southern with a time set for 7:30 p.m.

Saint Leo opens the home portion of the schedule with a five-game homestand, starting on Nov. 19 when the Lions host the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez at 7 p.m.

The Lions continue their home stand with Armstrong State on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m., Molloy on Nov. 26 at 2 p.m., Embry-Riddle on Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Barry on Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

With the contest against Barry to open December, Saint Leo concludes the month with two road games at Eckerd on Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. and at Clayton State on Dec. 13 before hosting three straight around the holidays. The Lions step out of conference play to host Auburn-Montgomery and Benedict on Dec. 16 and Dec. 19, respectively, both for 7 p.m. tip-off. Saint Leo hosts Palm Beach Atlantic at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 30 to roll over the New Year.

With a majority of their conference games in the second half of the year, the Lions open 2017 with a home game against Nova Southeastern at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 4.

Hitting the road for the next two games, the Lions visit Tampa, on Jan. 7 at 4 p.m., and Lynn, on Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Saint Leo returns home for a weekend game on Jan. 14 versus Rollins before heading to Florida Tech on Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and on Jan. 21 at Embry-Riddle at 4 p.m.

The Lions close out the first month of the New Year at home versus Tampa at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 28.

In the final month of the regular season, Saint Leo has eight total games, four at home and four on the road. The Lions start at home on Feb. 1 versus Florida Southern at 7:30 p.m., before traveling to Barry on Feb. 4 for a 4 p.m. start time.

Saint Leo returns home for two-straight games starting at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 versus Lynn and on Feb. 11 versus Florida Tech.

The traveling Lions will make a stop at Palm Beach Atlantic on Feb. 15 for a 7:30 p.m. tip before heading to Nova Southeastern on Feb. 18, where the Saturday game will start at 4 p.m.

The Lions will close out the home schedule of the regular season on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. against Eckerd before closing out the regular season on the road at Rollins on Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.

Saint Leo then looks to the postseason and another run in the Sunshine State Conference tournament, which takes place on March 2-5.

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