STANDISH, ME - Ninth-year Head Coach Rob Sanicola '99 has announced the 2011-12 men's basketball schedule.
The upcoming season will consist of 25 total games with 18 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) contests and seven non-conference tilts. The non-league slate includes games versus Maine-Farmington, Bowdoin, Southern Maine, Husson, WPI, Becker and Bates.
Saint Joseph's opens the season with a pair of road games as the Monks play at University of Maine-Farmington on November 15th at 5:30 PM and the team travels to Bowdoin College a week later for a 7:30 PM tip-off.
A long home stretch follows as the Royal Blue begins a four-game string at the Harold Alfond Center on Sunday, November 27th with a tilt versus in-state rival University of Southern Maine in the annual Costello Cup game. The Monks have captured the cup, named for the late "Doc" Costello, former USM Athletic Director and longtime basketball coach, for three consecutive seasons. St. Joe's owns a 13-8 record in the history of the Costello Cup series with the Huskies.
Saint Joseph's hosts another in-state rival, Husson University, three days later at 7:30 PM and the Monks begin conference play on December 3rd when Albertus Magnus College comes to Standish for a 3:00 PM tip. The home set comes to a close on December 8th when St. Joe's plays host to GNAC-rival Lasell College at 7:00 PM.
The Monks do not play at home again for over a month as the squad plays six games on the road before returning to the Alfond in mid-January.
The road string begins with a conference game at Suffolk University on December 10th at 1:00 PM. With Christmas Break looming, the Monks do not face an opponent until December 31st when they play at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in a non-conference tilt slated to begin at 2:00 PM. Saint Joseph's and WPI have not met on the hardwood in over 30 years.
St. Joe's returns to the Worcester, Mass. area for another non-league contest against Becker College for a 7:00 PM start two days later. The Monks resume GNAC play on January 7th when the Royal Blue faces off against Emmanuel College at 1:00 PM.
Three days later, Saint Joseph's plays at Lasell College at 7:30 PM and the Monks travel to Rivier College on January 12th for a 7:00 PM tip-off.
The Monks finally return home on January 14th for a conference contest versus Norwich University scheduled to begin at 3:00 PM. St. Joe's travels to Mount Ida College two days later for a 7:00 PM GNAC match-up.
Next on the docket is a home contest against Emmanuel on January 19th at 7:00 PM. Two days later the squad travels to Providence where the Monks will face Johnson & Wales University in a rematch of the 2011 GNAC Championship game at 3:00 PM.
Saint Joseph's begins a four-game home stretch versus conference opponents on January 26th against Mount Ida in a 7:00 PM tip. The Monks then host Suffolk on January 28th at 3:00PM, Anna Maria College - a new member of the GNAC this year and a program St. Joe's has not faced since 1985 - on January 30th at 7:00 PM, and Emerson College on February 2nd at 7:00 PM.
The team then travels to Anna Maria for a 3:00 PM start on February 4th and treks to Norwich for a 7:30 PM tip-off three days later.
The final regular-seasons home game takes place on February 11th at 3:00 PM against Rivier and the Monks travel to Bates College for a non-conference match-up versus Bates College at 7:00 PM on Valentine's Day.
The 2011-12 season closes with an away game against Albertus Magnus on February 18th at 3:00 PM.
The GNAC Tournament begins with a quarterfinal round on February 21st and continues two days later with a pair of semifinal contests. The conference championship will be played on February 25th. The higher-seeded team serves as the host throughout tournament play.
Saint Joseph's went 20-8 overall and posted a 15-3 record in GNAC play en route to earning the top seed in the conference tournament last season. Four starters, including senior co-captains Zach O'Brien (Schenectady, N.Y.) and Chris Petzy (Kensington, N.H.), return from last year's squad as the Monks look to make a run for another conference championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament next March.