By Bud Denega
ADA — The Ohio Northern men's basketball team will open its 109th season in program history with a trip to the Mt. St. Joseph Tip-Off Classic in Cincinnati Nov. 8 and 9 under the direction of fourth-year head coach Rich Bensman.
The Polar Bears are scheduled to play host Mt. St. Joseph for their first game of the Tip-Off Classic. The other opponent and start time is yet to be determined.
Following the season-opening tournament, ONU will square off against nonconference foe Denison on Nov. 15 in Granville.
The Polar Bears will travel to play Division I Purdue Fort Wayne Nov. 24, marking the first time Northern has battled a Division I opponent since taking on Toledo during the 2017-18 season.
ONU will wrap up nonconference action with a home game against Manchester (Ind.) Dec. 21 followed by the Wittenberg Holiday Tournament Dec. 29 and 30 in Springfield.
After kicking off its 2019-20 Ohio Athletic Conference slate at Mount Union Dec. 7, Northern will return to Ada for back-to-back OAC home dates against Wilmington and Capital Dec. 11 and 14, respectively.
Following the holiday break, Ohio Northern will return to conference action at John Carroll and Heidelberg Jan. 4 and 8, respectively. The league's double-round-robin regular-season format also includes road dates at Marietta on Jan. 18, Capital on Jan. 25, Wilmington on Jan. 29, Baldwin Wallace on Feb. 5, Otterbein on Feb. 12, and Muskingum on Feb. 22.
Meanwhile, the Polar Bears will host Muskingum, Baldwin Wallace, and Otterbein in January and Mount Union, Marietta, John Carroll, and Heidelberg in February inside the ONU Sports Center during league play.
The OAC Tournament is slated for Feb. 25, 27, and 29 at venues around the conference based on tournament seeding.
Last season, Ohio Northern posted a 7-18 overall record and a 3-15 league mark in OAC play to tie for ninth in the final regular-season standings.