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Aug 20, 2012 4:44 PM by Q2 Sports

More Big Sky games highlight basketball schedule

BOZEMAN - Montana State faces a bigger Big Sky Conference, fewer non-league games and a couple of difficult stretches in league play during the 2012-13 men's basketball season.

"The new expanded conference schedule has reduced the number of non-conference games we can play," head coach Brad Huse said. "We've really optimized that portion of the schedule by securing six of our nine non-conference games as home games. In fact, the three road non-conference games are money games and each of those will be interesting challenges for our team."

MSU battles a familiar foe in its season opener, traveling to Seattle University for a Sunday, Nov. 11 contest against the Redhawks. A week later, the Cats inaugurate the home portion of the schedule with a Sunday, Nov. 18 tilt against Portland. The Bobcats host two West Coast Conference opponents, and one from the WAC.

The Bobcats play six of their nine 2012-13 non-league games at home, with all eight of their known non-Big Sky foes - the Cats play a home Bracketbuster game on Feb. 24 - hailing from the western U.S.

The regional flavor of MSU's out-of-conference schedule provides a hidden but important benefit, Huse says. "The greatest benefit to our non-conference schedule is that we miss only one class day the entire first semester for game travel. Minimal missed class time was really an emphasis as we were finalizing the non-conference portion of our schedule."

With an 11-team Big Sky in 2012-13, the Bobcats face a league schedule unlike any it's seen. The conference campaign begins on Dec. 17 and 19 with a two-game road swing to NAU and Sacramento State. That launches a stretch of seven league games over a four-week period, with five on the road. The Bobcats close the regular season with three straight home games.

"We have some unique challenges in the conference schedule, including two stretches that have us playing five out of seven games on the road, but I think every team in our conference has to deal with a quirk or two," Huse said. "It isn't easy to schedule with an odd number of teams, like we have in the Big Sky."

2012-13 MSU Men's Basketball Schedule
N3 South Dakota Tech, 7 pm (EXH.)
N11 at Seattle, 2 pm
N18 Portland, 1 pm
N21 at Air Force, 7 pm
N25 at Oregon State, TBA
N29 Pepperdine, 7 pm
D1 San Jose State, 7 pm
D6 Montana Tech, 7 pm
D17 *at NAU, TBA
D19 *at Sacramento State, TBA
D29 Northwest Indian,
J3 *Portland State, TBA
J5 *Eastern Washington, TBA
J10 *at Northern Colorado, TBA
J12 *at North Dakota, TBA
J19 *at Montana, TBA
J21 *North Dakota, TBA
J24 *Weber State, TBA
J26 *Idaho State, TBA
J31 *at Eastern Washington, TBA
F2 *at Portland State, TBA
F7 *Southern Utah, TBA
F9 *Northern Colorado, TBA
F14 *at Northern Colorado, TBA
F16 *at Weber State, TBA
F24 Bracketbuster, TBA
F28 *at Southern Utah, TBA
M2 *Montana, TBA
M7 *NAU, 8 pm
M9 *Sacramento State, 2:30 pm
TBA Big Sky Tournament

*-Big Sky game Times are Mountain


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