AMERICUS - Georgia Southwestern State University head men's basketball coach Mike Leeder has released the program's 2012-13 schedule that features 14 games at home and 12 on the road.
GSW is coming off of a 12-14 campaign where the Hurricanes were a perfect 9-0 in non-conference play before stumbling to a 3-14 record in Peach Belt Conference action after a rash of injuries and departures. Southwestern loses its top three scorers, including All-American and 2011 PBC Player of the Year Phillip Brown (missed 11 games in 2011-12), 2009 PBC Freshman of the Year Evan Mobley and 2011 PBC Freshman of the Year Colin Slotter (missed eight games). No. 4 scorer Milos Kleut (10.2 ppg) returns along with starter Matt Shaw who missed 11 games last year due to nagging injuries.
GSW opens the 2012-13 campaign with five-consecutive home games beginning Nov. 9 when Fort Valley State visits the Storm Dome. The Hurricanes have won both meetings against the Wildcats at home during the program's NCAA era (2006-07), including a 68-58 victory last year.
A visit from Albany State (Nov. 17) is sandwiched between first-ever NCAA-era meetings with Brevard College (Nov. 10), North Alabama (Nov. 24) and Tusculum College (Nov. 25).
The Hurricanes hit the road for the first time on Dec. 8 - almost a full month after the season-opener - with a trip to Greeneville, Tenn. to complete a home-and-home series with Tusculum.
Peach Belt Conference play begins on Dec. 11 for the Hurricanes with a trip to Milledgeville for a game with Georgia College. Hurricane fans have one opportunity to catch GSW at home in December and that comes on the 15th when Clayton State is in town for a 3:30 p.m. matchup.
A trip to North Alabama on Dec. 30 rounds out non-conference play and the 2012 calendar year.
Peach Belt play ensues the rest of the season. The Hurricanes open 2013 at home with visits from USC Aiken (Jan. 3) and PBC newcomer Young Harris College (Jan. 5).
A pair of road games follow on the 12th (Francis Marion) and 13th (UNC Pembroke).
After a quick stop at home against Montevallo (Jan. 17), Southwestern hits the road for its toughest stretch of the season. A four-game PBC swing that includes visits to Flagler (Jan. 19), Armstrong (Jan. 21), North Georgia (Jan. 24) and Columbus State (Jan. 26) will pave the way for the final half of the conference schedule.
The 'Canes intend to enjoy some home cooking down the stretch with five of their final eight games in the Storm Dome between Jan. 30 and Mar. 2, including home dates on three of the final four Saturdays in the regular season.
GSW hosts Lander (Jan. 30), Columbus State (Feb. 7), Georgia College (Feb. 9), Augusta State (Feb. 16) and North Georgia (Mar. 2).
The matchup against Augusta State on Feb. 16 will serve as GSW's 2013 Homecoming game.
The Peach Belt Conference Tournament begins on Thursday, Mar. 7 with the top four teams in each division qualifying for the postseason event. Columbus State will host this year's tourney with the winner earning the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA National Tournament.