Photo Courtesy of Gerry Wall
BANNER ELK, N.C. – Coming off its most successful season in program history, the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team unveiled its 2018-19 schedule Tuesday afternoon. The 29-game slate includes one exhibition game against Middle Tennessee State, a tournament over Thanksgiving weekend in Florida and 13 home games at Williams Gymnasium.
"With having a virtually new team, we wanted to put our guys in a lot of different and adverse situations," said LMC Head Coach Steve Hardin. "Going to a mid-major, competing in a conference challenge, going south for a tournament against great Division II teams in Florida and how our conference is the best it has ever been since I have been here from top to bottom. This is a very tough and challenging schedule that will test and prepare us for conference play."
Lees-McRae will begin its 2018-19 campaign with four straight games on the road. LMC's season opener will be on November 6 at Division I foe Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro, Tenn. in an exhibition contest. The Blue Raiders have won at least 25 games in each of the last three seasons and have won two NCAA tournament games during that stretch.
After its trip to Murfreesboro, LMC will travel to Bristol for a Conference Challenge against Columbus State and Flagler on November 9-10. Wrapping up this inaugural road swing will be another trip to Tennessee for the Bobcats as they take on Carson-Newman on November 14.
Following those four contests, the Bobcats will hit the Williams Gymnasium court for the first time since capturing their first ever conference tournament championship last March when they take on Tusculum on November 17. Sandwiched in between a pair of home games against Piedmont International (Nov. 19) and Johnson C. Smith (Nov. 29), Lees-McRae will head to the Sunshine State for a pair of games on Thanksgiving weekend. LMC will take on Davenport on Nov. 23, and depending upon the result of that game it will take on either Puerto-Rico-Mayaguez or host Embry-Riddle University on the 24th of November.
The final month of the 2018 calendar will see the Bobcats play five of their six games within Conference Carolinas. LMC will kick off the month with a trip to Franklin Springs, Ga. to take on Emmanuel on Dec. 1. After a home date against Limestone on Dec. 4, the Bobcats will head to Mount Olive on Dec. 8 before coming back to the High Country for bouts against Southern Wesleyan on Dec. 12 and North Greenville on Dec. 15. Lees-McRae will close out 2018 with a non-conference matchup at Anderson on Dec. 30.
As the calendar turns to 2019, the Bobcats will spend the first month of the new year exclusively in conference play. Lees-McRae will have road trips to Barton (Jan. 2), Erskine (Jan. 8), Southern Wesleyan (Jan. 21) and North Greenville (Jan. 26) to go along with home contests against Belmont Abbey (Jan. 5), Emmanuel (Jan. 12), King (Jan. 16) and Mount Olive (Jan. 19).
Lees-McRae will open February with its final regular season non-conference game with a tilt against Johnson University on Feb. 2. LMC will then head out on the road to take on Limestone (Feb. 6) and King (Feb. 13) before closing out its home slate against Barton (Feb. 16) and Erskine (Feb. 20). The team will put a cap on the regular season with a road trip to Belmont Abbey on Feb. 23.
The Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Tournament will begin with the quarterfinals on March 5 at sites of the top four teams in the regular season standings. The semifinals and final will be on March 9-10 at the highest remaining seed.