Fourth-year men's basketball head coach Josh Gibson released the 2015-16 Brescia Men's Basketball schedule today. The 2014-15 KIAC South Champion Bearcats will have a daunting journey in front of them if they hope to repeat last season's success and return to the NAIA Division II National Tournament for the second time in school history.
Here's what Coach Gibson had to say about this season's slate of games: "This year's schedule is challenging and will push us to be our best. We are playing some tough opponents on the road and many of those returning to us are teams we lost to last season. On top of that, our conference is incredibily talented. I know that seems like typical coachspeak, but it isn't. Eight of the ten All-KIAC selections last season were juniors who return to their teams. Combined with the talent that I know the teams in our league have added, I truly believe the KIAC has the firepower to compete on a national level. It will be a true test of the teams in our league to battle each other night-in and night-out. Whoever comes out on top at the end, and there are multiple teams with a legitimate chance to win their division and the tournament, will be a team that is battle-tested and has truly earned it."
The season kicks off at home on Halloween as the Bearcats welcome Purdue North-Central to The Den. Brescia will then host regional opponent Boyce College for their only home contest in November (11/3) before traveling to classics at Marian University (to face Calumet College of St. Joseph's and Marian) and at KIAC rival Asbury University (to play Washington Adventist and St. Catherine's). The Bearcats will then travel to Wilberforce University on November 17th prior to opening KIAC play at Point Park University and Carlow University on November 21st and 22nd, respectively.
After Thanksgiving, Brescia will return home to The Den on 12/1 to open the month of December against Morthland College, who handed the Bearcats their only home loss of the regular season in 2014-15. After traveling to Boyce College on December 4th, Brescia will return to KIAC play with a road contest at IU-Kokomo on December 6th. Following a break for Final Exams, the Bearcats will complete their pre-Christmas schedule by hosting St. Catherine College (12/17) and competing on the road at Morthland College (12/19).
After Christmas, the Bearcats will face a pair of NCAA Division I opponents in games that count as exhibitions for Brescia. BU will travel to Western Kentucky on December 28th and will face Murray State on December 30th. KIAC play begins in earnest on January 2nd when Alice Lloyd College visits Owensboro. Brescia will travel to KIAC newcomer Ohio Christian University on January 7th before returning home to host Asbury University on January 9th. The Bearcats then embark on four consecutive KIAC road games, traveling to Cincinnati Christian University, IU-Southeast, Asbury University, and Alice Lloyd College to finish the month of January.
February will present Brescia with the opportunity to play four of their last five regular season contests at home as they finish the conference slate. After hosting Cincinnati Christian, IU-Southeast, and new KIAC member West Virginia Institute of Technology, the Bearcats will play a single road game at IU-East on February 13th before welcoming the Red Storm of the University of Rio Grande for Senior Day to round out the regular season on February 20th. The first round of the KIAC Tournament will begin on February 23rd at the higher-seed home locations.