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Wednesday July 29th, 2015 6:00PM

Piedmont men's basketball schedule released

By staff reports
DEMOREST -- Piedmont Men's Basketball Coach Greg Neeley has released the 2014-15 schedule for his Lions, coming off the team's first season in the USA South and its best five-game start in the NCAA era. The Lions will be tested early with three of their first four contests on the road and the home opener coming against Emory, one of the top Division III programs in the South Region.<br /> <br /> The team will be on the road for an exhibition with Division I Mercer University in Macon on Nov. 14. The Bears are coming off a 27-win season and a trip to the NCAA Tournament round of 32 after defeating the third-seeded Duke Blue Devils in the opening round for the program's first NCAA tournament win. Mercer is under the leadership of back-to-back Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year Bob Hoffman, who has led his team to at least a share of the last two Atlantic Sun regular season titles as well as the tournament championship last season.<br /> <br /> The Lions will officially begin the season in Clinton, S.C., taking on another Division I opponent, Presbyterian College, on Nov. 18. The Blue Hose only managed six wins last season including a close 86-76 victory over Piedmont's next opponent, Toccoa Falls. Piedmont split its contests with the Eagles last season with both teams winning on their home court. The first of two games between these teams in the 2014-2015 season will be in Toccoa on Nov. 22.<br /> <br /> Piedmont's first three contests will be on the road, with the final game coming against the first Division III opponent on the schedule, Sewanee on Nov. 25 with a late start at 9 p.m. The Lions won last season's game against the Tigers in Cave Arena 58-55.<br /> <br /> The home opener will be on Dec. 2 against Emory who advanced to the NCAA D-III Tournament's Elite Eight for the first time in program history in the 2013-2014 season and ended the year ranked 14th nationally. Just four days later on Dec. 6, the Cave Crazies will be back in the stands in Cave Arena for a 3 p.m. tip-off against Oglethorpe University.<br /> <br /> The Lions will then travel to Berry College in Rome, Georgia on Dec. 13 for a 3 p.m. game after a thrilling victory in Dec. of 2013 over the Vikings. Piedmont led by as many as 15 in the game, but in the end a deadlock at 79 was broken up with just 12 seconds to go by Chris Meeks whose layup gave the Lions the 87-85 victory. The men's final home game of 2014 will be on Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. as Piedmont plays host to Kentucky Christian University. The Lions will end 2014 with a trip to Fredrick, Maryland to participate in the Hood College Tournament where they will play twice with both the opponents and times to be announced.<br /> <br /> When the Lions return from Christmas break the USA South schedule will begin with the conference opener for Piedmont on the road at North Carolina Wesleyan on Jan. 3 at 2 p.m. Just before the heart of the league schedule begins, PC will take on Sewanee in the second of two games between the two this season, this time in Cave Arena, the start of a four game home stand.<br /> <br /> Up next on the schedule is William Peace on Jan. 9, the team who Piedmont beat last season in its first USA South contest. The Lions will then compete in back-to-back weekends on Friday and Sunday with Greensboro and Methodist visiting Cave Arena on January 16 and 18 and traveling to Virginia to take on Ferrum and Averett on Jan. 23 and 25. <br /> <br /> Piedmont will then have a short week as they transition to playing the majority of the remaining schedule on Wednesday's and Saturday's beginning with Covenant and Maryville at home on Jan. 28 and 31. The following week will follow the same schedule with visits to LaGrange and Huntingdon on Feb. 4 and 7. <br /> <br /> The Lions will take on Covenant once again on Feb. 11 on the road before back-to-back contests at home against LaGrange and Huntingdon on Feb. 14 and 15, just one week after facing these teams on their home court. Rounding out the USA South schedule will be a road match-up with Maryville on Feb. 18. <br /> <br /> The regular season finale will be in Cave Arena on Feb. 21 against local rival Toccoa Falls for the second meeting of the season between the two. Piedmont mounted a comeback last season at home to knock off Toccoa 83-74.<br /> <br /> The USA South tournament is set to take place over three days, Feb. 26-28, on the campus of the regular season conference champion. The top eight teams in the league will make the tournament which is a single elimination field.
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