Redbirds to Participate in USF Golden Gate Challenge
Aug 28, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's basketball team will travel to San Francisco for the first time in program history to participate in the four-team, round-robin University of San Francisco Golden Gate Challenge, ISU head coach Dan Muller announced Wednesday. The Redbirds will play three games at War Memorial Gym, Nov. 27, 29 and 30.
Along with host-San Francisco, the tournament field includes 2012-13 postseason qualifier Vermont and a team to be named later. Illinois State's game times have yet to be determined. Fans interested in traveling to support the Redbirds out west are encouraged to contact Suzi Davis Travel at (309) 662-0455.
"After a long and frustrating process, I am thrilled about our games in San Francisco," Muller said. "The opportunity to play three quality teams in four days will be very valuable for my team. Trips and experiences like these can help bring teams together, and we certainly hope the Golden Gate Challenge can do that for us."
Not only will the tournament mark Illinois State's first-ever journey to San Francisco, but also the first meeting between ISU and Vermont. The Redbirds won their lone game against San Francisco, 68-52, at the Cowboy Shootout in Casper, Wyo., in 1985.
From the America East Conference, Vermont went 21-12 last year with an 11-5 record and a second place finish in the league. The Catamounts advanced to the championship round of the American East Tournament where they narrowly fell to Albany. Vermont was later awarded an automatic bid to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), and the Catamounts bowed out in the first round.
San Francisco amassed a 15-16 overall record and a 7-9 mark, tied for fifth, in the competitive West Coast Conference. The Dons were 9-7 at home last season.
Illinois State chose to participate in the USF Golden Gate Challenge after scheduling difficulties encountered by the promoter caused ISU to opt out of the Hoops for Hope Classic in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
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