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Canisius men’s basketball announces 2018-19 non-league schedule


Jonathan Sanks
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Five games against teams that competed in the NCAA Tournament last March, including a matchup against defending National Champion Villanova, highlight the Canisius men's basketball non-league schedule, Canisius head coach Reggie Witherspoon announced Monday.

The Golden Griffins' meeting with Villanova on Thanksgiving Day, the program's first against the defending national champion since the Blue and Gold played at Syracuse in 2003-04, will be the team's first game of the AdvoCare Invitational, set for Nov. 22, 23 and 25 at the HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. On Nov. 23, Canisius will play either Memphis or Oklahoma State on the second day of the AdvoCare Invitational and will then close out the tournament Nov. 25 against either College of Charleston, Florida State, LSU, or UAB.

Canisius will officially tip-off the 115th season in program history Nov. 14 on the road when the Griffs play at defending Patriot League champion Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa. That game will be the seventh between the two schools, and the first since 2002-03, where Canisius earned a 71-67 victory on the road. The Griffs will host Albany in their 2018-19 home opener on Nov. 17. That game will be the second contest in a basketball doubleheader in the Koessler Athletic Center with the Canisius women's program. The men's game will tipoff at 3:30 p.m.

Prior to taking part in the AdvoCare Invitational, Canisius will play at Florida State Nov. 19 in Tallahassee, Fla. The meeting with the Seminoles, who advanced to the Elite Eight last spring, will be the program's first since Jan. 25, 1975 when the Griffs scored an 81-75 win over Florida State in The Aud.

After returning home from the Sunshine State, Canisius will travel south to Olean, N.Y., Nov. 28 to play at long-time rival St. Bonaventure in the Reilly Center. The 167th all-time meeting between the two schools is set to start at 7 p.m.

After a week off, the Griffs start the month of December at home, hosting Robert Morris in a non-league game in the KAC Dec. 5. Last season, Canisius went on the road and beat the Colonials by the score of 76-62, snapping a six-game losing streak to RMU in the series history which dated back to 1980-81.

Following a break for final exams, Canisius returns to the road Dec. 16 to play at Elon. Canisius' last game before the Christmas holiday comes when the Blue and Gold renews its long-time rivalry with Holy Cross. The 20th meeting between the two Jesuit schools, in a series that started during the 1946-47 season, will be played Dec. 20 in Worcester, Mass.

Canisius' final non-league game prior to the start of MAAC play is set for Saturday, Dec. 29, when the Griffs host cross-town rival Buffalo in the Koessler Athletic Center. This year's meeting on Main Street will mark the first time the Bulls have played the Griffs in their on-campus home since Nov. 20, 2012 – a 71-64 Canisius victory. Tipoff for that game is set for 7 p.m. Canisius' last non-conference game of the season is set for Tuesday, Jan. 8, when the team hosts Brown out of the Ivy League.

The full MAAC schedule will be officially announced in the near future.

Season tickets for the 2018-19 season are now available. Visit GoGriffs.com or call (716) 888-TIXX for more information. For information on official travel packages to the AdvoCare Invitational, CLICK HERE.

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