Coming off a fourth-place finish in their inaugural season, the Lancers are looking to take another step forward in 2012-13, but they're going to have successfully navigate through a challenging 26-game schedule, which was released Tuesday.
"We've had a good recruiting season and I believe we've improved our team," said CBU Head Coach Tim Collins, who is set for his 11th season at the helm of the Lancer program. "This year's schedule has us playing three games against teams we've never competed against but also three games against good teams from the California Collegiate Athletic Conference. It should prepare us for the PacWest."
The Lancers' seven non-conference opponents combined to go 103-84 last year.
The season begins at home Nov. 17 against second-year NAIA program UC Merced. The Lancers return the trip to Merced Dec. 1.
Other non-conference home games include NCAA Division II program Young Harris (Nov. 21), La Sierra (Nov. 27) and NAIA Dakota Wesleyan (Dec. 29). Young Harris will be in candidacy year 2 in the NCAA Division II membership process after going 22-4 last year. The 2012-13 season will be just its third year as an intercollegiate program.
The Lancers will host one and hit the road against a pair of CCAA teams, all of which finished in the top seven in the conference last year. CBU hosts Cal State L.A. Nov. 24 in a rematch of a game won by the Golden Eagles in Los Angeles last year. The Lancers are also playing in the Cal State San Bernardino Tournament against Cal State San Bernardino (Dec. 17) and Cal State Stanislaus (Dec. 18). Both of those games will be at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario.
The PacWest schedule begins Dec. 4 at home against former Golden State Athletic Conference rival and new PacWest member Fresno Pacific.
Other key home dates include Grand Canyon (Jan. 2), defending PacWest Champion Dixie State (Jan. 5) and new PacWest members Azusa Pacific (Jan. 15) and Point Loma (Feb. 21). The Lancers go on the road for six of their final seven games.
"We will not surprise any of the PacWest opponents after finishing in the top four last year," said Collins. "I anticipate receiving everyone's best effort when they play us this year. It's going to be very competitive, especially since we've added three more former GSAC rivals, which will bring back some of our traditional rivalries."
CBU is coming off a 16-10 campaign and a fourth place finish (11-9) in its first year in the PacWest. The Lancers return six players from last year, including a pair of All-PacWest performers in Luke Evans and Ivan Patterson.