By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University men's basketball team will play six of its first eight Northwest Conference games at home in 2017-18, one of several highlights on the 25-game schedule. In addition, the Bearcats will play five home games at Cone Field House against non-conference opponents between Dec. 9 and Dec. 30.
Willamette begins the year with an exhibition game at Portland State University from NCAA Division I on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Game time will be 7 p.m. (PDT).
The regular season opener for the Bearcats is set for Saturday, Nov. 18 at Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Oregon. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m.
WU will play in a tournament hosted by the University of California, Santa Cruz on Saturday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 26. The Bearcats will take on UC Santa Cruz on Saturday at 7 p.m. and will play University of La Verne on Sunday at 5 p.m. Both games will be played at Kaiser Permanente Arena, the home court of the Golden State Warriors' G League affiliate.
Northwest Conference action begins on the first weekend of December, when the Bearcats will host Lewis & Clark College on Friday, Dec. 1 and George Fox University of Saturday, Dec. 2. The game against L&C will start at 8 p.m., with the game against GFU beginning at 6 p.m.
Six non-conference games, including five games at home, will fill up the next four weeks, starting with a home game against crosstown rival Corban University on Friday, Dec. 8. On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Bearcats will play at Portland Bible College.
Willamette will close out the calendar year with four consecutive home games. Three of the games will be against NCAA Division III opponents from Wisconsin, Texas and Illinois.
The Bearcats are scheduled to play Northwest Indian College (Wash.) on Sunday, Dec. 10. After an 11-day break that includes final exams, the Bearcats will host University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Thursday, Dec. 21. Willamette will take on Trinity University (Texas) on Friday, Dec. 29 and will battle Elmhurst College (Ill.) on Saturday, Dec. 30.
NWC action resumes for the Bearcats on Wednesday, Jan. 3 with a road game against archrival Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. The Bearcats will return to Cone Field House on Saturday, Jan. 6 to play University of Puget Sound.
On Friday, Jan. 12, Willamette will take on Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. WU will beg at home on Saturday, Jan. 13 to battle Pacific University.
Home games against Whitworth University on Friday, Jan. 19 and versus Whitman College on Sunday, Jan. 20 will complete a stretch with four of five NWC games played at Cone Field House. Including non-conference action, the Bearcats will play nine of 12 games at home between Dec. 8 and Jan. 20.
Willamette is slated to play at George Fox on Friday, Jan. 26. The Bearcats will conclude the week by playing at Lewis & Clark on Saturday, Jan. 27.
The schedule brings archrival Linfield to the Willamette campus on Tuesday, Jan. 30 for a highly anticipated home matchup.
Four of the final five games on the regular season schedule will be played on the road. Willamette opens the challenging February schedule on Friday, Feb. 2 at Puget Sound. The Bearcats will travel to Forest Grove, Oregon, to take on Pacific on Friday, Feb. 9.
Senior Night at Cone Field House will be on Saturday, Feb. 10, when the Bearcats host Pacific Lutheran University. The Bearcats complete the regular season with road games at Whitworth University on Friday, Feb. 16 and at Whitman College on Saturday, Feb. 17.
In NWC action, all of Willamette's games will be played at 8 p.m. (PDT) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Fridays, and at 6 p.m. (PDT) on Saturdays. The NWC Tournament, featuring the top four teams in the regular season standings, is set for Thursday, Feb. 22 and Saturday, Feb. 24.