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Basketball News

Men's basketball schedule features 16 AMC games and three tournaments

Oct. 1, 2009

PITTSBURGH  -- The Point Park University men's basketball schedule features 16 American Mideast Conference games and three early-season tournaments.

The Pioneers will open the season Nov. 13-14 at the Notre Dame (Ohio) Tournament, which is the first of three tourneys that Point Park will participate in prior to the conference schedule.

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Interestingly, Point Park will open its season by playing five road games in five days. After playing in the Notre Dame Tournament, the Pioneers visit the Lake Erie Tournament (Nov. 15-16) before traveling to Penn State-Fayette for a non-conference game Nov. 17.

Point Park visits the Cedarville Tournament Nov. 20-21 and plays host to Penn State-Fayette in its final pre-conference tune-ups.

Rager in huddle

"We have a good pre-conference schedule that will get us ready for the AMC," said Point Park coach Bob Rager, who is in his 21st season. "We have three good tournaments, including an NCAA Division II tournament at Lake Erie, and the Cedarville Tournament has a good field.  

"It will be a tough conference schedule, and everyone has to play the same teams. After the Christmas break we have a road game at Fairmont State, which should be a good test before starting down the stretch."

In the season opener Nov. 13 at the Notre Dame Tournament, Point Park plays Rochester College (Mich.) at 6 p.m. The next day, the Pioneers face Ohio State-Lima (2 p.m.)

 The Pioneers open the Lake Erie Tournament Nov. 15 with the same first-round opponent as last year, St. Joseph (Ind.). An NCAA Division II member, St. Joseph beat Point Park, 84-67, in last year's season opener.

At the Cedarville tourney, Point Park opens up with Travecca Nazarene (Tenn.), an NAIA member that defeated Point Park, 104-71, last year. Travecca made the NAIA Division II tournament in 2007-08.

Point Park, which was 12-16 overall and 4-9 in the AMC last season, is a member of the AMC North Division. Last year was the first season since 2001-02 that the conference was not divided into North and South Divisions, but the league has reverted back to the alignment that it had the previous six seasons.

This year, the Pioneers will play a home-and-home series with each of the AMC North members, which are Notre Dame, Malone, Houghton, Roberts Wesleyan and Daemen.

Point Park will also play one game each versus AMC South members Walsh, Cedarville, Mt. Vernon Nazarene, Wilberforce, Shawnee State and Northwestern Ohio. Home games versus AMC South teams include Wilberforce (Dec. 1), Walsh (Jan. 21) and Cedarville (Jan. 30). The game versus Wilberforce is the AMC opener. Cedarville and Walsh were the top two AMC teams last year.

All 16 games versus AMC opponents will contribute to the Pioneers' conference record, although separate standings will be kept for each division.

The top three teams in each division will qualify for the postseason. The winners of the North and South divisions will square off in a North vs. South championship game with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II tournament.

The loser of the North vs. South championship game will get a bye into the AMC tournament championship game. There they will await the winner of the four-team bracket that begins with matchups between the No. 2 team in the North versus the No. 3 team in the South and the No. 2 team in the South vs. the No. 3 team in the North. The winner of the AMC tournament will receive the conference's second NAIA bid.

Point Park has made the AMC playoffs seven of the last nine years. Last season was the first time since 2003-04 that the Pioneers did not play in the postseason. In 2006-07, Point Park won 29 of its first 30 games on its way to winning the AMC championship title and a No. 3 ranking in the final NAIA Division II poll.