Thursday, September 06, 2018 5:50 pm
Mastodons to play UCLA; basketball schedule released
The Purdue Fort Wayne men's basketball team will open the 2018-19 regular season Nov. 6 at UCLA, as the Mastodons released their schedule Thursday.
It will be the Mastodons' first ever contest against the Bruins. UCLA was a NCAA Tournament team last season and enter this season with the No. 5 recruiting class according to Rivals.com. It will be the first of two games in three days as Purdue Fort Wayne comes home on Nov. 8 to play host to Earlham at the Gates Sports Center in the regular season home opener.
The schedule includes 17 home games including 10 at the Coliseum and 15 road games.
The non-league portion features seven Division I teams that each won a game in their respective conference tournament last season. That total doesn't include a Nov. 11 date at Ohio State. The Buckeyes went to the NCAA Tournament last season, beating Summit League foe South Dakota State in the opening round.
Another notable non-league game includes a contest at Atlantic 10 member Dayton on Nov. 16. Purdue Fort Wayne will play at Cleveland State on Nov. 25 against a squad that advanced to the Horizon league title game last year. Meanwhile trips to Miami (CBI) on Dec. 8 and Austin Peay (CIT) on Dec. 15 will be against teams that played in the postseason last year.
Following the home opener against Earlham, Manchester (Nov. 13), South Carolina State (Nov. 20), Samford (Nov. 23), UMKC (Dec. 1), Akron (Dec. 5), IUPUI (Dec. 18) and Siena Heights (Dec. 20) will come to the Summit City.
The Summit League schedule will start after Christmas when the Mastodons will play at North Dakota on Dec. 28 and North Dakota State on Dec. 30. The Dec. 28 contest will be the first league game for new Summit League member North Dakota. It will be the third meeting between the Mastodons and the Fighting Hawks. The Mastodons lead the series 2-0.
Purdue Fort Wayne's first home league game will come Jan. 3 against South Dakota State at the Coliseum. It will be a doubleheader with the Mastodon women playing at 5 p.m. and the men at 7:30 p.m.
Another highlight is a homecoming contest vs. Denver on Saturday, Jan. 26 at Gates. The Mastodons will conclude the regular season on March 2 against North Dakota State.