Niagara Gazette — The Niagara University Purple Eagles men’s basketball team will open its first season under new head coach Chris Casey at Seton Hall on November 9, just one of the non-conference opponents the team will face in 2013-14.
Niagara’s athletics department released the men’s basketball team’s non-conference schedule Wednesday, which also includes dates against the University at Buffalo, St. Bonaventure and a matchup against Davidson at First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo.
Steve Butler, Niagara’s Associate Athletic Director for External Relations, told the Gazette that there’s a sense of excitement among fans with all the changes that have happened since the spring, all as Niagara prepares to defend its 2012-13 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season championship.
“We’ve started our season ticket renewal and our phones are ringing off the hooks,” Butler said. “Folks are renewing their season tickets. We’ve got some folks who want to add additional seats. I think a number of our fans (have) that excitement. It’s a new coach, a new era. They’re excited to see what the Purple Eagles can do.”
While many of the players who led Niagara to their MAAC success, followed by their bid to the National Invitation Tournament, have since transferred out of Monteagle Ridge, there remains leading scorer Antoine Mason, who averaged 18.7 points per game in 2012-13.
After playing at Seton Hall, which is part of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Tournament, the Purple Eagles will host their home opener against U.B. on Wednesday, November 13.
Niagara will then resume its NABC Tournament play on the campus of Kent State, facing the hosts on November 21, USC Upstate the following day and then Western Carolina on November 23.
November will remain a busy travel month for Niagara, who also travels to Penn on November 26, Northwestern State on November 30 and then opens December at Arkansas State.