Basketball Bears Valley schedule released

ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Valley Conference formally announced its 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule Tuesday (Sept. 5), finalizing Missouri State’s 32-game ledger for the upcoming season.

The Bears will play 15 home games at JQH Arena again this season, matching last season for the most regular-season games ever in the 11,000-seat facility. In addition to the nine MVC home games, the previously-released non-conference slate includes visits from Southern University, North Dakota State, Evangel, Colorado State, Hampton and Wright State to “The Q.”

Missouri State opens conference play on Friday, Dec. 22 with a visit from Loyola Chicago to JQH Arena. It marks the Bears’ earliest league opener since a Dec. 13 contest opened Valley play in 2003-4. The Bears then travel to Valparaiso on New Year’s Eve for the club’s first MVC road game and MSU’s first conference matchup with the Crusaders since Feb. 17, 1990.

The Bears host Northern Iowa (Jan. 4), Indiana State (Jan. 14), Valparaiso (Jan. 17), Southern Illinois (Jan. 27) and Illinois State (Jan. 30) during a busy January stretch that includes half of the club’s 18 conference contests. MSU also plays four road games in January.

February begins with a pair of road games, but concludes with three of the Bears’ last five MVC games in Springfield. Visits from Evansville (Feb. 10), Drake (Feb. 18) and Bradley (Feb. 21) precede Missouri State’s regular-season finale at Northern Iowa on Feb. 24.

The 2018 State Farm MVC Tournament runs March 1-4 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Television assignments for the upcoming season will be announced by The Valley later this month.

Head coach Paul Lusk begins his seventh season at the helm on Friday, Nov. 10 when the Bears travel to Western Kentucky for a non-conference tilt. MSU’s 13-game non-conference schedule also includes a three-game, neutral-site tournament in Estero, Fla., which runs Nov. 20-22.

Missouri State returns five lettermen, four starters and three squad members from a 17-16 campaign. The Bears have also added six newcomers to the 2017-18 roster, including graduate transfers Tanveer Bhullar (New Mexico State) and J.T. Miller (Howard), in addition to two freshmen, a sophomore transfer and a junior transfer.

MSU season tickets are on sale now by calling (417) 836-8899 or logging on for more information. Single-game tickets will go on sale at a date to be determined.