Pat Knight announces challenging 2012-13 basketball schedule

GO CARDINALS <strong>Pat Knight led the Cardinals to 23 wins and the NCAA Tournament in his first season</strong>
Pat Knight led the Cardinals to 23 wins and the NCAA Tournament in his first season

Printable 2012-13 Lamar Basketball Schedule Get Acrobat Reader

BEAUMONT - A year after making an impressive run to the NCAA Tournament, Lamar University basketball coach Pat Knighthas once again put together a competitive schedule to prepare his Cardinals for the rigors of Southland Conference play.

During the 2011-12 season, Lamar was the only school in the nation to face three of the four teams who advanced to the Final Four, including eventual national champion Kentucky. The Cardinals were able to use that experience to win the Southland Conference East Division and league tournament on their way to earning the school's sixth trip to the NCAA's.

This year's schedule includes a spot in the Preseason NIT with the Cardinals opening in Kansas State's bracket on Nov. 12. The winner of each of the four brackets earns a spot into the semifinals from famed Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21-23.

"This will help get us prepared for the season," said Knight about the Cardinals' tough road games. "We're in the Preseason NIT which brings exposure, but it's tough. You wish you had four to six home games, but this year it's just not going to work out.

"We just have to be positive about it and do the best we can. But, I think from a standpoint of being prepared for conference, I don't think anyone (in the Southland Conference) is going to have a tougher schedule than us."

The Cardinals will have to prove themselves road warriors to get through the pre-conference schedule which includes stops at Alabama (Nov. 27), Purdue (Dec. 4) and Baylor (Dec. 12), all of which participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

Lamar's first pre-conference home game won't come until LIU-Brooklyn visits the Montagne Center on Dec. 29. The Cardinals will also host a contest on Feb. 23 against an as yet to be named team in the ESPN BracketBusters.

In between the first and second week of the Preseason NIT, Lamar will play a return game at Charlotte on Nov. 17. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers of the Atlantic 10 Conference 72-54 last year in the Montagne Center.

Familiar foes Arkansas State (Nov. 25), Louisiana-Lafayette (Dec. 10) and Texas-Pan American (Dec. 15) will also serve as road battles for Lamar in 2012-13.

Lamar will open Southland Conference play at Stephen F. Austin on Jan. 3 with all league games being played as part of a doubleheader with the women's team. The Cardinals and Lumberjacks split a pair of games last season with SFA winning 62-52 in Beaumont and Lamar eliminating the `Jacks 55-44 in the semifinals of the conference tournament in Katy.

With the addition of Oral Roberts, and the loss of Texas State, UT Arlington and UTSA, the Southland Conference will feature an 18-game slate with a home-and-home series against the other nine schools.

"I think it will be neat this year to do it for a year, but I'm interested to see what happens next year when the league has 14 teams," said Knight about the home-and-home schedule. "Bringing Oral Roberts in is huge for basketball. It makes us a stronger basketball conference and gives us more notoriety."

Lamar's first home game against a conference opponent will come on Jan. 7 when Southeastern Louisiana comes to town. The Southland Conference Tournament will once again be held in Katy's Merrell Center with the 8-team event scheduled for March 13-16.

The Cardinals also host a pair of exhibition games in the Montagne Center prior to the Preseason NIT. Lamar will face McMurry on Nov. 3 and Northwood on Nov. 5.




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