HUNTSVILLE – Returning for his ninth season at the helm, Sam Houston State men’s head basketball coach Jason Hooten announced Monday the Bearkats’ 2018-19 schedule, which includes 14 home games and a challenging non-conference schedule.
“I feel like most seasons our expectations are to try and win the league and the conference tournament,” Hooten said. “From season to season, expectations can become more difficult with inexperience or youth with a new group. We have a pretty good mix of both, but our level of consistency and success year in and year out should make this season’s expectations no different.”
The Kats will have their hand in 13 preseason contests prior to the start of Southland Conference play. The 2018-19 season kicks off on Tuesday, November 6 at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum against East Texas Baptist. Two days later the Kats will host Southwestern (Nov. 8) before hitting the road to Ruston, La., for a Nov. 11 matchup with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
SHSU’s road swing continues with the Cayman Island Classic that includes stops at Clemson (Nov. 14), who advanced to the third round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, and Georgia on Friday, Nov. 16.
“We are very excited about being a part of the Cayman Island Classic,” Hooten added. “Our games at Clemson, Georgia, and then the tournament at East Tennessee State will be a huge early-season challenge.”
The Kats continue play in the tournament against Jackson State (Nov. 19) in Johnson City, Tenn. The result of that game will determine if SHSU will play East Tennessee State or Chicago State the following day.
After a five-game hiatus from Johnson Coliseum, the Bearkats will return home to face the Central Michigan Chippewas on Wednesday, Nov. 28, almost a year to the day after they faced them in the opening round of the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage a year ago.
“Trying to get home games has become a daunting task with each passing year,” Hooten explained. “We are extremely excited to have a great Central Michigan team coming to Johnson Coliseum. Overall, we play a tough and challenging schedule to prepare ourselves for Southland Conference play and hopefully, continue our run of 20+ wins and postseason.”
The month of December begins with road trips to Little Rock (Dec. 1) and Colorado State (Dec. 8) before another SHSU home game against Alabama State on Dec. 18. The Kats will hit the road once more before the start of the New Year and will take their final road trip of 2018 to Utah Valley on Dec. 22.
Squeezing in one more game before the end of the year, the Kats will ring in the New Year with a Dec. 31 matchup against Texas Lutheran for its last non-conference game of the season.
“By the time Southland Conference play rolls around we want to be a much-improved team heading in the right direction,” Hooten said. “Our expectations for league play are again what they always are – win the league and conference tournament. It’s a realistic expectation and goal considering five out of the eight years we have finished fifth or better.”
Southland Conference play kicks off Jan. 5 with a home matchup against Abilene Christian and a quick trip to Central Arkansas on Jan. 9. The Kats will then return home for consecutive home games against UIW (Jan. 12) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Jan. 23). SHSU will play host to Lamar (Jan. 26) before heading out on the road once again to Southeastern Louisiana (Jan. 30).
The Kats return to Huntsville for home contests against Stephen F. Austin (Feb. 2) and McNeese (Feb. 6) before hitting the road for Southland games at Abilene Christian (Feb. 9), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Feb. 12) and Lamar (Feb. 16). The Kats’ are set to host Nicholls on Feb. 20 and Houston Baptist on Feb. 23 and will finish out the month with a Feb. 27 matchup at New Orleans.
Senior Day is slated for Wednesday, Mar. 6 against Central Arkansas and SHSU will finish out the regular season on the road against Piney Woods foe Stephen F. Austin on Saturday, Mar. 9.
Returning to Katy, Texas, the Southland Conference Tournament is set to begin on Mar. 13 at the Leonard E. Merrell Center.
Season tickets for the 2018-19 season are now on sale and 2017-18 Basketball season ticket holders will be able to renew their same seat through Friday, October 19. Invoices will be mailed out for renewals.
Pricing for the 2018-19 season will be $200 for Lower Reserved sections E and F, $99 for corner reserved and $99 for general admission. The Bearkat Champions Basketball Club is available to add onto your season ticket package for a donation of $200. Bearkat fans with access to the club may enjoy complimentary food and cash bar.
To purchase season tickets click here or call the Athletic Ticket Office at (936) 294-1729.