From IUP Sports Information
The IUP men’s basketball program has announced its return to the court with the release of its 2021-22 non-conference schedule Tuesday afternoon.
The Crimson Hawks have a total of seven out-of-conference games prior to the start of their mandated Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) schedule, including an exhibition matchup at the University of Illinois. That game is scheduled for Friday, October 29 at the State Farm Center in Champaign.
Coach Joe Lombardi annually challenges his team with top Division I opponents for exhibition games. IUP most recently played at Elon and also challenged No. 2 Kentucky prior to the 2018-19 season. The Hawks have also played at Villanova, Syracuse, Michigan State, Maryland, Pitt, Florida State, South Florida, Siena, and La Salle in past seasons.
IUP opens the regular season with four games in eight nights, starting with the annual IRMC/Hilton Garden Inn Classic on November 12-13 at the Kovalchick Complex. The Crimson Hawks will host West Virginia Wesleyan and Concord, both out of the Mountain East Conference, on successive nights.
The Hawks will host Le Moyne, a traditional power from the Northeast-10 Conference and the East Region, on November 13 before traveling to Maryland to square off against Bowie State on November 19.
The non-conference slate wraps up during the final weekend of November with the IUP Thanksgiving Classic. IUP will host Salem and a team-to-be-named from the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
IUP’s PSAC schedule begins the first weekend of December with a trip to play Kutztown and West Chester.
The Crimson Hawks look forward to their return after missing the 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hawks managed a schedule of three games, falling to Gannon on the road 80-75 before defeating the Golden Knights at home 67-56 and rallying for a 77-74 win over Clarion at home.
IUP opened the year at No. 4 in the NABC poll, the program’s 12th straight year in the coaches’ preseason rankings. IUP returns five players with starting experience from the 2020 PSAC Championship team, including preseason All-American Armoni Foster and 2020 PSAC West Freshman of the Year Ethan Portherfield.