ELON, N.C. – Elon University head men’s basketball coach Matt Matheny announced the team’s schedule for the upcoming 2012-13 season today. The Phoenix’s schedule is highlighted by non-conference games against Butler, Duke and South Carolina, as well as an appearance in the prestigious EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. Season tickets for the 2012-13 season go on sale tonight at midnight.
“We are excited to have been able to put together another challenging schedule that gives us national exposure against some of the best programs in the country,” said Matheny. “Beginning the season at Butler in the Maui Invitational will be a great test for our team and hosting the Regional Games on our campus is an outstanding opportunity.”
The maroon and gold opens the regular season on the road on Nov. 10 in Indianapolis, Ind., when it takes on the Butler Bulldogs in Hinkle Fieldhouse as part of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Opening Games. Butler made back-to-back appearances in the national championship game in 2010 and 2011.
For the second time in the last three seasons, Elon makes the trek to Durham, N.C., to face the Duke Blue Devils inside Cameron Indoor Stadium on Dec. 20. It marks the 25th all-time meeting between Elon and Duke and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
After topping South Carolina, 58-53, inside Alumni Gym last season, marking the program’s first win over a member of the Southeastern Conference, the Phoenix makes the return trip to Columbia, S.C., on Nov. 21 to face USC in Colonial Life Arena. The last time Elon played in Columbia was in 2010 when it opened the season at South Carolina.
In addition to its Maui Invitational Opening Games contest on Nov. 10 with Butler, the Phoenix hosts a pair of Regional Games in Alumni Gym on Nov. 17 and 18 as part of the tournament. Elon welcomes Colgate, Florida Atlantic and Coppin State to campus for the two-day event. The Phoenix takes on Colgate on Nov. 17 and faces either FAU or Coppin State a day later in the championship/consolation game.
Elon’s home opener is slated for Nov. 13 when the Phoenix welcomes Bridgewater to Alumni Gym. Elon also hosts a pair of Ivy League teams on campus when it welcomes Dartmouth on Dec. 4 and Princeton on Jan. 5. The Phoenix came away with a thrilling one-point victory at Princeton last season.
Sandwiched around Elon’s game at Duke on Dec. 20 are trips to UMass on Dec. 15 and Columbia on Dec. 22. The Phoenix and Minutemen met last season in Amherst, Mass. Elon’s last game at Columbia ended in dramatic fashion, as former Phoenix Chris Long hit a fade-away jumper with 0.1 seconds left on the clock to give the maroon and gold a 70-69 victory on Jan. 2, 2011.
The Phoenix opens Southern Conference play in Statesboro, Ga., on Nov. 28 when it takes on Georgia Southern. The team’s first SoCon home game is slated for Dec. 1 against College of Charleston.
The Phoenix welcomes instate rivals Appalachian State and Western Carolina to campus for back-to-back meetings in mid-February. Elon hosts ASU on Thursday, Feb. 14 before taking on the Catamounts on Saturday, Feb. 16.
On Feb. 27, the Phoenix hosts the defending SoCon Tournament champions from Davidson in Alumni Gym at 7 p.m. The last time the two teams met in Alumni Gym, Elon captured a 77-70 victory on Feb. 24, 2011. This year marks the 49th all-time meeting between Elon and Davidson.
Elon’s final regular-season home game is scheduled for March 2 when it hosts UNCG at 7 p.m. Last year’s game against the Spartans in Alumni Gym drew a record-crowd 1,804 fans, as Elon captured a 93-79 victory.
The 2013 SoCon Tournament returns to Asheville, N.C., from March 8-11 in the US Cellular Center. Elon earned a first-round bye in last year’s tournament for the second time in program history and first since winning the SoCon North Division in 2005-06.