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Fairfield, CT -- Sacred Heart head men's basketball coach Dave Bike announced the 11-game non-conference schedule for the upcoming 2012-13 season. The Pioneers will face teams from six different conferences this season and will once again tip-off their season in the Connecticut 6 Classic.
The season will get underway with the 2012 Connecticut 6 Classic on November 10th, now in it's fourth season and featuring a change of venue this year. The Pioneers will be matched-up with the Yale Bulldogs in the annual event, this year to be played on the campus of the University of Hartford at the Chase Family Arena at Reich Family Pavilion. The event had previous stops at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport and at Mohegan Sun Arena. SHU is 2-1 in the CT 6 Classic, sandwiching wins over Yale at the inaugural event and last season's victory over Hartford around a loss to Fairfield.
SHU will return to the Reich Family Pavilion on November 16th to battle the Hawks in what will be the 19th meeting all-time between the two Connecticut schools. SHU holds a 12-6 edge in the series that dates back to 1970. This will be the eight meeting since the Pioneers joined the Northeast Conference in 1999-2000.
A pair of Atlantic-10 opponents make their first-ever appearance on a Sacred Heart basketball schedule in 2012-13 in LaSalle and George Washington. The Pioneers will close out the non-conference schedule with road trips to both schools. SHU heads to Philadelphia on December 22nd to face the Explorers and close out the 2012 calendar year on December 30th in our nation's capital against the Colonials.
Back on the SHU slate for the first time since the 2006-07 season is the Lehigh Moutain Hawks, fresh off a record setting season. The Mountain Hawks will pay the William H. Pitt Center a visit for the 2012-13 home opener on Sunday, November 25th. Lehigh won the Patriot League title last season on their way to a 75-70 upset over #2 seeded Duke in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Pioneers and Mountain Hawks have faced each other four times, splitting the series at 2-2.
For the second-straight season the Pioneers will head to The RAC in Piscataway, NJ to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights of the Big East. SHU saw a 35-32 halftime lead erased in the second half as Rutgers shot 81% on their way to a 91-75 win in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The Pioneers fell to the Big East twice last season, also losing at Notre Dame to remain winless against the league all-time (0-16).
This year's schedule is also highlighted by a home and home series with the Stony Brook Seawolves from just across Long Island Sound. The Pioneers will travel to Stony Brook on November 18th and play host to the Seawolves in the return engagement on December 18th. The series between the two schools dates back to the Division II days for both institutions. The Pioneers hold a 4-1 edge and have won three-straight in their meetings on the Division I level.
Road games at Brown University and Lafayette University and a home game against the College of Holy Cross round out the 11-game 2012-13 non-conference slate. SHU will close out November heading to Brown on the 29th, facing the Bears for the fourth-straight season. The same is true when the Pioneers head to Easton, PA on December 9th to face the Leopards. Decmeber will open with Sacred Heart hosting the Crusaders on the 5th. It will be the ninth meeting between the two schools with the series tied at 4-4.