Canisius announces non-league schedule

Photo: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
Photo: Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

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Four home games, highlighted by a meeting with long-time rival St. Bonaventure in the Koessler Athletic Center, and a trip to the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic highlight the Canisius men’s basketball non-conference schedule for the 2015-16 campaign. The Golden Griffins will officially start the 112th season in program history Friday, Nov. 13, when the team travels to meet Hofstra in Hempstead, N.Y.

Season tickets for the combined men and women’s home schedule can be purchased or renewed by calling the Canisius Ticket Office at (716) 888-2885 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.,Monday through Friday, or by going online to Reserved seats cost $200, with general admission season tickets costing $100. Group ticket packages, ticket packs and single-game tickets will go on sale in the near future.

After starting the season on the road for the first time under fourth-year head coach Jim Baron, the Blue and Gold will return to Buffalo to open a three-game homestand in the Koessler Athletic Center. On Monday, Nov. 16, the Griffs will host Lehigh in the 2015-16 home opener and then the team will square off against Cornell Saturday, Nov. 21 in the back-end of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader in the KAC. On Tuesday, Nov. 24, Canisius will meet long-time rival St. Bonaventure in the Koessler Athletic Center. It will mark the 164th all-time meeting between the two schools, but it will be just the sixth time in series history where the Bonnies have played the Griffs on campus in the KAC.

The Griffs won’t travel far for their next road game – as the team rolls up Main Street to meet cross-town rival Buffalo on Saturday, Nov. 28, in Alumni Arena. That game on Buffalo’s campus will mark the Griffs’ first appearance in Alumni Arena since Nov. 22, 2011, and it will mark the 48th all-time meeting in a series which Canisius leads 31-16.

In the first weekend of December, Canisius will open MAAC play at home with a pair of league games. The full conference schedule will be released in the next few weeks. Canisius will play its first game outside of Western New York in almost a month on Dec. 10, when the team travels to State College, Pa., to meet Penn State in the first game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. That game, the third all-time meeting in the series between the two schools, will be played in Penn State’s historic Rec Hall, where the Nittany Lions played home games from 1929-96. On Saturday, Dec. 12, Canisius travels to meet Kent State in another game associated with the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. That meeting between the Griffs and the Golden Flashes will be the first since 1983-84, and it will also mark Canisius’ last contest before final exams.

On Saturday, Dec. 19, Canisius gets back to work on the hardwood when Boston University comes to town for a non-league game that will tipoff at 2 p.m. Canisius will then travel west to Las Vegas Dec. 22-23, where the team will play two non-league, neutral site games in the Orleans Arena. Canisius will play Louisiana-Monroe Dec. 22 before taking on either Hampton or Nicholls State Dec. 23. The Griffs will close out the non-league portion on their 2015-16 slate on either Jan. 12 or Jan 13, 2016, when the team travels to play at Dartmouth. The official game date for the rematch of last year’s CIT first round game will be announced once the MAAC officially posts the Griffs’ conference schedule.

Canisius returns two starters and seven letter winners from last year’s team that went 18-15 overall and 11-9 in MAAC play. The Griffs earned their third-straight postseason appearance under the direction of Baron, who has guided Canisius to 59 total victories since the start of the 2012-13 season, the second-most wins by any MAAC program in the last three years.

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