CULLOWHEE, N.C. – The nonconference portion of the 2019-2020 regular season schedule for both Western Carolina men’s and women’s basketball teams is set and features a total of 26 out of conference games – 11 for men’s basketball and 15 for the women.
Tip times and a full 2019-20 schedule which will include the Southern Conference docket will be available later.
Men’s and women’s basketball season tickets are on sale now through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office located on the first floor of the Ramsey Center. An “All Hoops” package which includes tickets to all men’s and women’s basketball home games is only $100 for the entire season. For men’s basketball season tickets reserved, or general admission are $80 and women’s basketball season tickets are $50 for general admission seating. Youth prices are also available for all season ticket options and current WCU faculty/staff have the opportunity to receive discounted tickets. For more information, call the ticket office at (800) 34-GOWCU (344-6928) or visit CatamountSports.com.
Second-year head coach Mark Prosser’s schedule for men’s basketball is highlighted by a season-opening road game at Southeastern Conference (SEC) member, Georgia.
Nonconference home games for the Catamounts include hosting Gardner-Webb (Nov. 9), North Carolina A&T (Nov. 12), Bryan College (Nov. 27), mountain-rival UNC Asheville (Dec. 7), and Piedmont College (Dec. 28). The midday, Noon match-up with the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb is the front-end of a doubleheader with Catamount football on Nov. 9. Gardner-Webb won the Big South Tournament punching a ticket to the NCAA Championships falling to eventual National Champion Virginia in the Round of 64.
In addition to the curtain-raising opener at Georgia, Catamount men’s basketball hits the road to face ACC-foe Florida State (Nov. 15), Jacksonville (Nov. 21), Stetson (Nov. 24), Xavier (Dec. 18) and Tennessee Tech (Dec. 21).
All told, Catamount men’s basketball will face three nonconference teams that participated in postseason tournaments in 2018-19. In addition to the aforementioned Gardner-Webb, Florida State also made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament reaching the Sweet 16 before falling to Gonzaga. The Catamounts’ Dec. 18 opponent, Xavier, advanced into the second round of the NIT.
“We are thrilled to announce our very competitive non-conference schedule for the 2019-2020 season,” said Prosser. “We felt as though we had to ensure that we challenged ourselves at a high level in preparation for a Southern Conference that proved to be one of the finest basketball conferences in the country last season. We also wanted to make sure that we brought quality opponents into the Ramsey Center.”
Prosser added, “There is a palpable excitement around our team and our program, and we hope that it translates over into our students, alums, and fans and that Cullowhee continues to be a very difficult place for opponents to play.”
Head coach Kiley Hill’s first year at the helm of Western Carolina women’s basketball is highlighted by a Nov. 7 match-up at North Carolina. The Tar Heels will also be competing with a new head coach in Courtney Banghart.
Western Carolina women’s basketball is slated to travel to Elon (Nov. 9), USC Upstate (Nov. 12), Davidson (Nov. 20), Gardner-Webb (Nov. 27) and the College of Charleston (Dec. 30) in nonconference action in 2019-20. Home games include match-ups with UVa-Wise (Nov. 5), Campbell (Nov. 14), mountain-rival UNC Asheville (Nov. 18), Coastal Carolina (Nov. 24), Charleston Southern (Dec. 4), Cleveland State (Dec. 6), Tennessee Tech (Dec. 17), Winthrop (Dec. 21) and Southern Wesleyan (Jan. 6). The Catamount women have a total of nine nonconference home games for the 2019-20 season.
The Catamounts will face five NCAA Division I opponents who competed in postseason tournaments in the 2018-19 season, each in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI). UNC Asheville, Davidson, and Coastal Carolina were all ousted in the first round. Tennessee Tech reached the quarterfinals while Campbell made it to the semifinals.
“As our program transitions in various ways, we are excited for the opportunities and challenges we will have in front of us with our nonconference schedule,” said Hill. “Hopefully, we can put ourselves in a position to prepare ourselves for the rigors of Southern Conference play and be a team that the Western Carolina faithful will come to enjoy watching compete and be willing to adopt us as a program that they want to be part of and will represent them with class, pride, and competitive spirit.”
MEN’S BASKETBALL NONCONFERENCE
Nov. 5 at Georgia
Nov. 9 Gardner-Webb
Nov. 12 North Carolina A&T
Nov. 15 at Florida State
Nov. 21 at Jacksonville
Nov. 24 at Stetson
Nov. 27 Bryan College
Dec. 7 UNC Asheville
Dec. 18 at Xavier
Dec. 21 at Tennessee Tech
Dec. 28 Piedmont College
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NONCONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Nov. 5 UVa-Wise
Nov. 7 at North Carolina
Nov. 9 at Elon
Nov. 12 at USC Upstate
Nov. 14 Campbell
Nov. 18 UNC Asheville
Nov. 20 at Davidson
Nov. 24 Coastal Carolina
Nov. 27 at Gardner-Webb
Dec. 4 Charleston Southern
Dec. 6 Cleveland State
Dec. 17 Tennessee Tech
Dec. 21 Winthrop
Dec. 30 at College of Charleston
Jan. 6 Southern Wesleyan
*Games in bold are at home