NORFOLK, Va. (NSUSpartans.com) – Six home games in the early part of the season kick off the 2018-19 schedule for the Norfolk State men’s basketball program, which released this year’s slate on Thursday.
The Spartans will host five regular season games, including the Battle of the Bay against Hampton, as well as one exhibition game before the end of November. NSU will be on the road the entire month of December before beginning MEAC play in January.
Altogether, the Spartans will have 14 home games this year including an exhibition contest versus Virginia State. That game will be played on Oct. 31 at Joseph Echols Hall beginning at 7 p.m. It’ll begin a campaign in which NSU will play its earliest regular season game ever.
Norfolk State’s first official game of the year takes place on Nov. 6 at national runner-up Michigan, part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. It’ll also mark the start of a busy stretch for the Spartans along with home games against Mid-Atlantic Christian on Nov. 8 and Clarion on Nov. 10, both at 7 p.m.
The contest against Michigan will mark the earliest start to the regular season ever for NSU. Previously, the Spartans began the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons on Nov. 9.
Along with Michigan, Norfolk State also plays at South Carolina on Nov. 13, also part of the Hall of Fame Tournament. NSU takes on Siena on Nov. 16 and either Holy Cross or Stony Brook on either Nov. 17 or 18, both games at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.
Following that stretch, NSU returns home to host three more games, the biggest of course being Hampton on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Battle of the Bay. With HU’s move to the Big South, this year’s game, and any games in subsequent seasons, will not count toward each team’s conference record.
Along with Hampton, the Spartans also host New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) on Nov. 20 and Stony Brook on Nov. 27, both also at 7 p.m.
The Spartans play their third contest in five days, following Stony Brook and Hampton, when they travel to Kent State on Dec. 1. After a break for finals, NSU also voyages to Rider on Dec. 12 and to Final Four participant Loyola Chicago on Dec. 16.
A return to the Sun Bowl Invitational in El Paso, Texas awaits the Spartans afterwards, where they will take on host UTEP on Dec. 21 and either Wyoming or East Tennessee State on Dec. 22. They close out the non-conference schedule on Dec. 29 at Niagara.
MEAC play starts on Jan. 5 at home when the Spartans host Delaware State. Two days later on Jan. 7, Florida A&M will arrive at Joseph Echols Hall. All home conference games this year will start at 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.
The Spartans will spend half of the next weekend on the road when they travel to Coppin State on Jan. 12 before returning to Echols to host Bethune-Cookman on the 14th. They then head out of town for the whole weekend, playing at Savannah State on Jan. 19 and at South Carolina State on Jan. 21.
The month of January closes with the Spartans at home against Maryland Eastern Shore on Jan. 26. The month of February starts with NSU at Howard on the 2nd, at Bethune-Cookman on the 9th and at Florida A&M on Feb. 11. That will be followed by a home weekend against the MEAC North Carolina schools, NCCU at Feb. 16 and A&T on Feb. 18.
The last four games of the year include road contests at Morgan State (Feb. 23) and Delaware State (March 4) and home games against Coppin State (March 2) and Howard (March 7). The last contest of the season will lead into the MEAC Tournament, set to take place from March 11-16 at Scope Arena.