GAELS ANNOUNCE 2010-11 NON-CONFERENCE SLATE
NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Iona College men's basketball head coach Tim Cluess announced his 2010-11 non-conference schedule. Highlighting the slate will be four games at the Hynes Athletics Center in addition to an appearance in the 2010 World Vision Classic hosted by Cleveland State University.
"The ultimate goal of the non-conference schedule is to prepare you for the grind of the league schedule," said Cluess. "We feel we're facing a number of talented teams that will help us get ready our MAAC rivals. We'll have 13 home games this year and a number of out-of-conference road games close enough to home for our fans to come watch us perform."
The Gaels travel to Cleveland, OH to open up their 2010-11 campaign in the three-game World Vision Classic from Nov. 12-14. The squad takes on the host Vikings along with Kent State University and Bryant University. Iona battles against the Horizon League's Cleveland State (1-1) and the Mid-American Conference's Kent State (0-2) for the third time in its history. Bryant is a first-time opponent for the Gaels.
Following the WVC, the Maroon & Gold return to New Rochelle for its home opener on Nov. 18 against the University of Richmond. Iona last faced the Spiders in their only meeting on Dec. 28, 1996, in a 71-66 win that earned the team's 13th Pepsi-Iona Classic championship at the formerly named Mulcahy Center. The contest opens up a home-and-home series with Iona returning to Richmond, VA in 2012.
Iona then hits the road to complete the month of November for two return games against opponents it faced in New Rochelle last season. The Gaels travel North to the University at Albany on Nov. 23 and South to Norfolk State University a week later. Iona topped the Great Danes and the Spartans last season at the Hynes Center and is 1-0 all-time vs. both programs.
Next up for the Gaels is the opening weekend of conference play where the team will play two games - likely one home and one road game - against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foes from Dec. 2-5.
Following its two conference contests, the Gaels take on two Northeast Conference opponents, beginning with a road game in Brooklyn, NY vs. Long Island University on Dec. 8. The Gaels return to Kings County for the second time in three seasons. Iona then hosts Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 11. The contests are rematches from last season that also saw two Iona victories. The Maroon & Gold opened up a 12-10 series advantage over the Blackbirds and a 15-11 lead over the Knights with the two wins.
Iona's next formidable opponent on the slate is the BIG EAST's Syracuse. Iona travels to the Carrier Dome on Dec. 18 and face the Orange for the first time since a heartbreaking two-point defeat in the first round of the 1997 NCAA Championship. Syracuse owns a 3-0 series advantage.
The Gaels complete their calendar year at home against the University of Vermont and Hofstra University. The Catamounts come to New Rochelle on Dec. 22 for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign. Iona holds a 4-2 series lead over its America East foe.
Hofstra and Iona renew a Metropolitan Area rivalry at the Hynes Center on Dec. 29. The Pride and the Gaels last squared off on Dec. 23, 2008 in Hempstead. Iona knotted the series at 19-19 with a thrilling three-point win on the road. Hofstra last came to New Rochelle the previous season as the Maroon & Gold's Bracketbusters opponent on Feb. 23, 2008.
Iona finishes off its non-conference slate on the road in the Bracketbusters contest on Feb. 18 or 19. The team takes part in the event for the sixth year in a row. With its victory over William & Mary last season, Iona improved to 3-2 in Bracketbusters contests.
The Maroon & Gold embarks on its first season under head coach Tim Cluess. The Gaels are coming off a 21-10 season last year and a third place finish (12-6) in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference last season. Eight letterwinners including all five starters from last year's squad return. Second Team All-MAAC point guard Scott Machado join fifth-year senior forward Alejo Rodriguez and MAAC All-Rookie guard Kyle Smyth as the team's top returning scorers for the 2010-11 campaign.
2010-11 Iona College Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
Date Day Opponent Location 2010 World Vision Classic (Iona, Cleveland State, Kent State, Bryant) Nov. 12 Fri. vs. Kent State Cleveland, OH Nov. 13 Sat. vs. Bryant Cleveland, OH Nov. 14 Sun. at Cleveland State Cleveland, OH Nov. 18 Thu. RICHMOND New Rochelle, NY Nov. 23 Tue. at Albany Albany, NY Nov. 30 Tue. at Norfolk State Norfolk, VA Dec. 2-5 Th.-Su. MAAC Weekend TBA Dec. 8 Wed. at Long Island Brooklyn, NY Dec. 11 Sat. FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON New Rochelle, NY Dec. 18 Sat. at Syracuse Syracuse, NY Dec. 22 Wed. VERMONT New Rochelle, NY Dec. 29 Wed. HOFSTRA New Rochelle, NY Feb. 18-19 Fr.-Sa. at Bracketbusters TBA Mar. 4-7 Fr.-Mo. MAAC Championship Bridgeport, CT
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