BOILING SPRINGS --- Gardner-Webb will once again play a demanding non-conference schedule at the start of the 2015-2016 season, a slate which features matchups with a pair of teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last spring, as well as a trip to the United States Military Academy at West Point, announced head coach Tim Craft Monday.
"Our non-conference schedule next season should thoroughly prepare our team for Big South play, as well as provide our student-athletes with some great life experiences," said Craft.
The Runnin' Bulldogs will kick off the 2015-2016 schedule on the road at Iowa of the Big Ten on Friday, November 13 in Iowa City, Iowa. The Hawkeyes compiled a 22-12 record last season while advancing to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to Elite Eight foe Gonzaga.
Gardner-Webb will travel from Iowa to Nashville, Tennessee later that weekend to take on Vanderbilt of the SEC on Monday, November 16. The Commodores put together a 21-14 record last season and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the National Invitation Tournament, falling to eventual champion Stanford.
Coach Craft and the Runnin' Bulldogs will return to Paul Porter Arena for their home opener on Thursday, November 19, taking on NCCAA foe Toccoa Falls College.
Gardner-Webb will embark on its longest road trip of the season that weekend, departing campus for a nine-day, four-game swing that begins in Knoxville, Tennessee on Sunday, November 22 against SEC foe Tennessee. The Volunteers compiled a 16-16 record last season.
The trip continues in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, November 24 against George Washington, which put together a 22-13 record last season and advanced to the second round of the NIT.
Gardner-Webb's road swing will culminate Thanksgiving weekend at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where the Runnin' Bulldogs will take on Southeast Louisiana on Friday, November 27 and the winner/loser of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Army on Saturday, November 28 in the Barclays Center Classic.
The Runnin' Bulldogs will open Big South Conference play the following week on Wednesday, December 2 and Saturday, December 5. Opponents and venues for both matchups will be finalized following the official announcement of the 2015-2015 Big South schedule, which is expected in mid-to-late August.
Gardner-Webb will renew a home-and-home series with Furman a week later, traveling to Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday, December 12. The Runnin' Bulldogs then make a return trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Wednesday, December 16 to take on SEC foe LSU for the second straight season. The Tigers defeated the Runnin' Bulldogs, 93-82, in the season opener last season, pulling away in the final moments.
The Runnin' Bulldogs will wrap up their non-conference schedule with three games in the friendly confines of Paul Porter Arena, where Gardner-Webb posted a 12-2 record last season. The three-game home stand will include a December 21 contest versus former Big South rival, VMI (SoCon).
Gardner-Webb will return nine members of last year's roster this coming season, including rising seniors Harold McBride (Bronx, N.Y.), Dylan Poston (Myrtle Beach, S.C.), Herve Aholode (Cotonou, Benin), Adonis Burbage (Orlando, Fla.) and Isaiah Ivey (Georgetown, Ky.), as well as junior forward Tyrell Nelson (Charlotte, N.C.).
Gardner-Webb's 2015-2016 Non-Conference Schedule
|Fri. Nov .13||Iowa||Iowa City, IA|
|Mon. Nov. 16||Vanderbilt||Nashville, TN|
|Thur. Nov. 19||Toccoa Falls||Boiling Springs, NC|
|Sun. Nov. 22||Tennessee||Knoxville, TN|
|Tue. Nov. 24||George Washington||Washington, DC|
|Fri. Nov 27||SE Louisiana||West Point, NY|
|Sat. Nov 28||Army/Ark. Pine Bluff||West Point, NY|
|Wed. Dec. 2||Big South||TBA|
|Sat. Dec. 5||Big South||TBA|
|Sat. Dec. 12||Furman||Greenville, SC|
|Wed. Dec. 16||LSU||Baton Rouge, LA|
|Fri. Dec. 18||Warren Wilson||Boiling Springs, NC|
|Mon. Dec. 21||VMI||Boiling Springs, NC|
|Mon. Dec.28||MGSC||Boiling Springs, NC|