Murray Evans, Sports Information Director
OKLAHOMA CITY – The first game in six seasons against a longtime rival and a trip to St. Louis highlight the Oklahoma Christian men’s basketball schedule for the 2017-18 season, announced Thursday by coach Cory Cole.
The Eagles will host Oklahoma Baptist on Dec. 9 in the renewal of a series that dates back to the early 1960s. OBU and OC have played 101 previous times – the Bison are the Eagles’ second-most-frequent opponent – but they haven’t met since March 2012, when OC stunned the No. 1-ranked Bison in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament title game in Siloam Springs, Ark.
OC left the NAIA for NCAA Division II following that season and OBU followed two years later. OC now competes in the Heartland Conference, while OBU is in the Great American Conference.
The Eagles also will make their first trip to Missouri since the 2012 season when they visit Maryville (Mo.) for a classic on Dec. 18-19. OC will face Missouri-St. Louis on the 18th before taking on the host school on the 19th.
OC’s season will begin on Nov. 4 with an exhibition game against Randall (formerly Hillsdale Baptist) that will be a featured part of the university’s homecoming activities. The regular season will start Nov. 10-11, when the Eagles play in the Heartland-Lone Star Challenge against Cameron and Texas A&M-Commerce, respectively. Those games will be hosted by Newman (Kan.) in Wichita.
Cross-Edmond rival Central Oklahoma will be the foe in OC’s home opener on Nov. 14. Two days later, Eastern New Mexico – the alma mater of former OC coach Dan Hays – will visit the Eagles’ Nest. It will be the first meeting between OC and ENMU since the 1976-77 season.
OC will travel down Interstate 44 to Chickasha to take on another former SAC rival, USAO, on Nov. 21. Current OC assistant coach Kendre Talley spent last season on the Drovers’ bench as an assistant, helping them reach the NAIA Division I tournament.
A four-game homestand will follow, with games against Southern Nazarene on Nov. 25, Manhattan Christian (Kan.) on Nov. 27, Newman on Dec. 2 (the Eagles’ Heartland Conference opener) and OBU. Following that will be the trip to St. Louis.
After the Christmas break, OC will play only conference games, starting with home games against Arkansas-Fort Smith on Jan. 4 and St. Edward’s (Texas) on Jan. 6. The longest road trip (by mileage) of the season will be next, with games at Texas A&M International on Jan. 11 and St. Mary’s (Texas) on Jan. 13.
OC will host Dallas Baptist (Texas) on Jan. 18, then it’s back on the road for three games at Lubbock Christian (Texas) on Jan. 20, Newman on Jan. 27 and St. Edward’s on Feb. 1.
The Eagles’ next three games will be at home, against Rogers State on Feb. 3, Texas A&M International on Feb. 8 and St. Mary’s on Feb. 18. OC will visit Dallas Baptist on Feb. 17 before hosting Lubbock Christian on Feb. 19, then will close the season with games at Arkansas-Fort Smith on Feb. 22 and Rogers State on Feb. 24.
The Heartland Conference Championship tournament is set for March 1-4, at Union High School’s arena in Tulsa.