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June 1, 2009

2009-10 Season - Game at Gonzaga highlights 2009-10 schedule

One look at the 2009-10 Augustana men’s basketball schedule reveals pretty quickly that the Vikings aren’t backing down from anybody. Veteran head coach Grey Giovanine has assembled what he calls “the toughest non-league schedule we’ve ever put together”. As if a trip to St. Louis, Missouri to face the two time defending NCAA Division III champion Washington Bears on Saturday, December 12 th isn’t enough, the Vikings have taken on another huge challenge. Just recently Giovanine completed negotiations on a deal that will have Augustana traveling to Spokane, Washington on Wednesday, December 9 to play Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs of head coach Mark Few have made 11 straight trips to the NCAA Division I national tournament and have been extremely successful in the McCarthey Athletic Center, nicknamed “The Kennel”, going 12-1 last year at home. They are 63-3 in McCarthey since the building opened in 2004. Gonzaga finished the 2008-09 season with a 29-6 overall record and lost to eventual NCAA champion North Carolina by a score of 98-77 in the national tournament. A CNN poll in April listed Gonzaga/Spokane as the fifth best “Basketball towns to visit”.

“We know that Grey Giovanine has one of the nation’s best division three programs,” said Few. “We look forward to hosting his Augustana team here at Gonzaga in “The Kennel”. It will be a sellout crowd and I believe he and his team will really appreciate the environment on game night.”

Giovanine is excited about the opportunity that will present itself to his team that returns just one starter, point guard Matt Pelton (Bloomington Central Catholic HS, Bloomington, Ill.), from a team that went 18-8 in 2008-09. “For our team to get a chance to compete against one of college basketball’s best programs in arguably the toughest home court environment in the nation, is a remarkable opportunity,” said Giovanine who has compiled a record of 183-79 (.698) in 10 seasons at the Viking helm. “I have always had a good relationship with the Gonzaga staff and we appreciate this opportunity. This is a model program at the highest collegiate level and I think it is safe to say we will be the only division three team in the country playing a regular season game against a perennial top-twenty division one program.”

Even without Gonzaga on the docket, this would still be a challenging schedule. Washington was 29-2 last year, including an 87-82 overtime win over the Vikings on November 22 in the Carver Center where the Vikings are 101-16 over the last nine seasons. Also presenting road challenges will be Wisconsin-Whitewater on December 22 and Buena Vista on January 2. UW-Whitewater was 23-6 last year and lost to Washington in the second round of the NCAA tournament while Buena Vista went 23-3 and won the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.

The Vikings will open the season at home against Simpson on November 16 in the Carver Center, where they are 101-16 over the last nine seasons and 56-7 in College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin action. Augustana 388-97 (.800) since the building opened in 1971. Beloit (November 18) and MacMurray (November 24) will visit Carver to give the Blue & Gold three straight home games to start the season. They will then travel to Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana on November 28 and Knox in Galesburg, Illinois on November 30. Mike Zapolski, Augustana’s director of athletics, held a similar post at Anderson from 2003 through 2008. Following the trips to Anderson and Knox will be the two game swing at Gonzaga and Washington before the Vikings come home to face Chicago on December 16. Another home game will loom as Monmouth visits on December 20 and then Giovanine will take his team to Wisconsin-Whitewater and Buena Vista.

The CCIW schedule will begin on January 6 at home against North Park. Five of the next six league games will be on the road although the Vikings do end the season with four straight home games.

2009-10 AUGUSTANA VIKINGS MEN’S BA SKETBALL SCHEDULE

DATE

OPPONENT

SITE

TIME

November 16

Simpson

HOME

7:30 p.m.

November 18

Beloit

HOME

7:30 p.m.

November 24

MacMurray

HOME

7:30 p.m.

November 28

Anderson

Anderson, Indiana

7:00 p.m.

November 30

Knox

Galesburg, Illinois

7:30 p.m.

December 9

Gonzaga

Spokane, Washington

TBA

December 12

Washington

St. Louis, Missouri

7:30 p.m.

December 16

Chicago

HOME

7:30 p.m.

December 20

Monmouth

HOME

3:00 p.m.

December 22

Wisconsin-Whitewater

Whitewater, Wisconsin

TBA

January 2

Buena Vista

Storm Lake, Iowa

4:00 p.m.

January 6

*North Park

HOME

7:30 p.m.

January 9

*Elmhurst

Elmhurst, Illinois

7:30 p.m.

January 13

*Wheaton

Wheaton, Illinois

7:30 p.m.

January 16

*Carthage

HOME

7:30 p.m.

January 20

*Millikin

Decatur, Illinois

7:30 p.m.

January 23

*North Central

Naperville, Illinois

7:30 p.m.

January 27

*Illinois Wesleyan

Bloomington, Illinois

7:30 p.m.

January 30

*Elmhurst

HOME

7:30 p.m.

February 3

*North Park

Chicago, Illinois

7:30 p.m.

February 6

*Carthage

Kenosha, Wisconsin

7:30 p.m.

February 10

*Wheaton

HOME

7:30 p.m.

February 13

*Millikin

HOME

7:30 p.m.

February 17

*Illinois Wesleyan

HOME

7:30 p.m.

February 20

*North Central

HOME

7:30 p.m.

February 26

CCIW Semifinal

TBA

6:00/8:00 p.m.

February 27

CCIW Championship

TBA

7:30 p.m.