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Men's basketball schedule out

The IPFW men's basketball team, which went 16-17 and 7-9 in the Summit League last year, announced Wednesday that its conference schedule will begin Jan. 9 against North Dakota State at the Gates Center.

The Mastodons play host to South Dakota State two days later.

South Dakota State won the conference title last year, and North Dakota State was the runner-up at the conference tournament.

Five of the first seven conference games are at home for IPFW.

"You definitely need to take advantage of it. If you're trying to continue to grow and improve in the league, like we are, then you need to take care of home court first," Mastodons coach Tony Jasick said on the IPFW website.

The Mastodons' 14-game conference schedule includes the first ever game against Denver, a newcomer to the Summit League after one year in the Western Athletic Conference, and that game will be in Denver on Jan. 16.

"We have a new opponent coming into the league in Denver, and I think our fans will be excited to see them," Jasick said. "They are a quality program and well coached. They will come in and provide a great challenge right away, as they enter the league."

Denver plays in Fort Wayne on Feb. 15.

The IPFW conference slate concludes March 1 in Omaha, Neb.

The Summit League Tournament will open March 8 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The Mastodons return three of five players who started at least 19 games – Luis Jacobo, Michael Kibiloski and Pierre Bland – but they must make up for the loss of Frank Gaines, the program's all-time leading scorer who averaged 19.8 points last season and top rebounder Mario Hines.

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