The Citadel releases 2018-19 basketball schedule

VIDEO: The Citadel releases 2018-19 basketball schedule

CHARLESTON, SC - The 2018-19 Citadel men's basketball schedule has been finalized and will feature 29 games split up between 15 home dates and 14 road tilts. The slate includes marquee games at Clemson, Texas and South Florida, and also features the likes of High Point, Southeast Missouri State and Longwood in the non-conference portion.

"The design of this year's schedule will present significant challenges at home and on the road," said head basketball coach Duggar Baucom. "A mix of NCAA Tournament teams, long-time rivalries and new faces will provide exciting and highly competitive basketball for our program and Bulldog Nation. Our goal is to prepare our team for a very difficult Southern Conference slate and continue our climb in the conference standings."

Prior to the regular season, the Bulldogs will have a tune-up exhibition game on Thursday, Nov. 1 against North Greenville. The Bulldogs open the season Tuesday, Nov. 6 when they travel to face Sweet 16 participant Clemson.

The Citadel will officially open the 2018-19 home slate on Monday, Nov. 12 against Mid-Atlantic Christian University before hosting Johnson University out of Florida on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Both games will be part of the 2018 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Regional Round.

The 'Dogs will then open a tough three-game road swing on Friday, Nov. 16 in Austin, Texas against the Longhorns, another NCAA Tournament team last season, to close out the regional round of the Las Vegas Invite. The road swing will then take The Citadel north to Harrisonburg, Virginia where James Madison awaits the second game of a home-and-home series. Last season, the Bulldogs claimed an 84-82 win inside McAlister Field House. The three-game road stretch will wrap up in Tampa, Florida with a game at USF on Saturday, Nov. 24.

The Bulldogs return home on Tuesday, Nov. 27 to open a stretch of four home games in a three-week stretch. High Point returns to McAlister Field House to tip off the homestand as part of a home-and-home series in which The Citadel won 79-77 last season in High Point, North Carolina.

The second game of the homestand will feature the Southern Conference opener on the first of December as Mercer travels to Charleston for a Saturday matinee matchup.

The 'Dogs will then dip back out of the SoCon slate for four final non-conference games, including three at home. Johnson & Whales (Charlotte) will travel to McAlister Field House on Wednesday, Dec. 5 with Southeast Missouri State paying the 'Dogs a visit on Saturday, Dec. 15.

For the fourth season in a row, The Citadel will face the Camels of Campbell. On Tuesday, Dec. 18, the 'Dogs will head back to Buies Creek, North Carolina for the third time in four years before closing out the non-conference schedule and 2018 portion of the campaign at home against Longwood on Saturday, Dec. 29.

For the third year in a row, the second half of the season will commence with the Bulldogs making a trip to the upstate to visit Wofford and Furman. The game in Spartanburg is slated for Thursday, Jan. 3 with the tilt against the Paladins scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 5.

The Citadel will then return home on Thursday, Jan. 10 for a game against ETSU before welcoming the Catamounts of Western Carolina on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Following the quick homestand inside McAlister Field House, the Bulldogs will begin a three-game road swing through Alabama, up into Tennessee and into North Carolina. The trek begins on Thursday, Jan. 17 with a tilt at Samford. Baucom's team will then travel to Chattanooga on Saturday, Jan. 19 before closing out the stretch at defending SoCon Champ UNCG on Thursday, Jan. 24.

The Bulldogs will return home to Charleston from the three-game road swing for a three-game homestand that begins on Saturday, Jan. 26 with the annual home game against rival VMI. The Citadel will then begin the second half of the SoCon slate by hosting in-state rivals Furman (Thursday, Jan. 31) and Wofford (Feb. 1).

The 'Dogs will have a week off from outside competition before heading out on another three-game trek. The swing begins on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Mercer, continues on Thursday, Feb. 14 at ETSU and concludes on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Western Carolina.

The final homestand of the season will feature the likes of Chattanooga (Thursday, Feb. 21), Samford (Saturday, Feb. 23) and UNCG (Saturday, Feb. 23) traveling to Charleston to close out the month of February. The Bulldogs will close out the 2018-19 regular-season schedule on the road against the Keydets of VMI on Saturday, March 2.

The 2019 Southern Conference Basketball Championships will return to the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, North Carolina for the eighth year in a row. Action will get started on Thursday, March 7 and will conclude on Monday, March 11.

Season tickets will go on sale Monday, Sept. 10.

The Bulldogs return four of their five highest scorers from a year ago, including seniors Zane Najdawi, Matt Frierson and Quayson Williams as well as junior Kaelon Harris. The 'Dogs added a pair of graduate transfers and brought in two freshmen while adding Tyler Burgess back into the mix for the 2018-19 campaign to compliment the eight returners.

Last season, the Bulldogs defeated three teams ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25. The Bulldogs defeated fifth-ranked ETSU 84-82 on the road on Feb. 20, 17th-ranked Wofford 80-78 on Feb. 1 and 19th-ranked Furman 100-92 in overtime on Feb. 3. The 'Dogs have increased their SoCon win total in each of the last three years under Baucom and staff and won a game in the SoCon Championships in back-to-back years under the same head coach for the first time in program history.