Saint Mary's Gaels 2011-12 Basketball Schedule: Baylor Awaits In Non-conference Play

The Saint Mary's Gaels open their 2011-12 season Friday evening as they host Fresno Pacific. The Gaels will being the post-Mickey McConnell era as they return their other four starters. Forward Rob Jones and guard Matthew Dellavedova are their highest profile players this season and will look to get the Gaels back into the NCAA tournament.

The Gaels upcoming schedule features some tough matchups leading up to what will be a challenging West Coast Conference schedule. The addition of BYU adds to the degree of difficulty, but also helps raise the profile of an already solid WCC.

The biggest game on SMC's non-conference schedule is a neutral site contest with the preseason No. 12 Baylor Bears. Saint Mary's will be taking part in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, which includes matchups with Baylor and the Missouri State Bears. Baylor finished last season 18-13 while Missouri State put together a 26-9 season that saw them advance to the second round of the NIT.

Saint Mary's starts conference play on December 29, hosting the BYU Cougars in BYU's first WCC contest. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 in what will be a modest bit of history. Later in the season, Saint Mary's will take part in the 2012 Sears Bracketbuster Saturday.

Here is a rundown of Saint Mary's 2011-2012 college basketball schedule (home games in bold/caps, all times pacific):

November

11  FRI. FRESNO PACIFIC 7:00 PM
15 TUES. NORTHERN IOWA 11:00 PM ESPN
23  Wed. Denver 4:00pm PM
27 Sun San Francisco State 4:00 PM (Shamrock Office Solutions Classic, HOST)
28 Mon vs. Jacksonville State/Weber State 5:00/7:30 PM (Shamrock Office Solutions Classic, HOST)

December

3  Sat. Cal Poly 7:00 PM
13 TUES. JACKSON STATE 7:00 pm
15 THURS. NORTH CAROLINA A&T 7:00 PM

17 SAT. BETHUNE-COOKMAN 7:00 PM (Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, Moraga)
19 MON. KENNESAW STATE 7:00 PM  (Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, Moraga)
20 TUES EASTERN WASHINGTON 7:00 PM
22 Thu. Baylor 7:30 PM ESPN3.com (Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic)
23 Fri. Missouri State 8:30 PM ESPN3.com (Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic)
29 THURS. BYU 8:00 PM  ESPN 2
31 Sat. Pepperdine  3:00 PM

January

5 Thurs. San Diego 6:00 PM  ESPNU
9  Mon. SAN FRANCISCO  7:00 PM
12  THURS. GONZAGA  8:00 PM  ESPN2
14  SAT. PORTLAND  8:00 PM
19  THURS. PEPPERDINE 7:00 PM
21  Sat. Santa Clara  8:00 PM
26  Thurs. Loyola Marymount  7:00 PM
28  Sat. BYU  6:00 PM  ESPNU

February

2  THURS. SAN DIEGO  7:00 PM
9  Thurs. Gonzaga 8:00 PM ESPN2
11  Sat.  SANTA CLARA  8:00 PM
15  WED. LOYOLA MARYMOUNT  7:30 PM
18 Sat. TBD (2012 Sears Bracketbusters)
23  Thurs. Portland 7:00 PM  ESPNU
25  Sat. San Francisco  8:00 PM
29  Wed. WCC Play-In Game TBA 

March

1  Thurs. WCC First Round TBA 
2  Fri. WCC Quarters  TBA 
3  Sat. WCC Semifinals TBA 
5  Mon. WCC Finals TBA

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