FERRUM — Playing an NCAA Division I foe in men’s basketball, either in a regular-season game or in an exhibition contest, is nothing new for Ferrum College.
In past years, the Panthers have played VMI, Radford, High Point, Campbell, Army, Western Carolina, East Carolina, Wake Forest, Winston-Salem State (when the school competed in Division I), Winthrop, UNC-Greensboro, Liberty, Gardner-Webb, The Citadel, Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina.
This year, Ferrum adds Davidson to that list.
The Panthers are playing the Wildcats in an exhibition game set for Friday, November 1.
Ferrum has never defeated an NCAA Division I foe, but the Panthers did come close twice.
In 1991-92, the year in which the Panthers won the USA South Athletic Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament, they came within a point of defeating Campbell, 98-97 in overtime.
Everett Foxx scored 34 points for Ferrum, which opened that season with eight straight wins.
Campbell won the Big South championship that year and advanced to the NCAA Division I tournament where it lost to eventual national champion Duke in the first round.
Also, during Marcus Mayo’s red-shirt freshman year (2007-08), the Panthers came within six points of defeating Winston-Salem State, 61-55.
Davidson, which competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference, was 24-10 last year and lost to Lipscomb (Tennessee) in the opening round of the postseason NIT.
Last year, Davidson played Washington and Lee in an exhibition and was victorious, 116-56.
Tyler Sanborn’s third year as Ferrum’s head coach features four home games in November and three of those are against former USA South rivals: Methodist (season opener, Nov. 12), William Peace (Nov. 16) and Brevard (Nov. 23). Also, the Panthers play Berry (Georgia) at Swartz Gymnasium on November 27.
The Panthers begin their second year of Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play Sunday, December 1 at Virginia Wesleyan. Their home conference opener is against Lynchburg on Wednesday, December 4.
Ferrum completes 2019 with a non-league game at Averett (December 8), a non-conference home game against Catholic (December 15) and match-ups against Sewanee and Hood in the Hampden-Sydney Classic (December 29 and 30).
ODAC play resumes in January and during the month, the Panthers play Bridgewater (away), Guilford (home), Randolph-Macon (away), Roanoke (home), Eastern Mennonite (home), Lynchburg (away) and Hampden-Sydney (home).
In February, Ferrum faces conference foes Bridgewater (home), Guilford (away), Shenandoah (home), Emory & Henry (home), Eastern Mennonite (away), Randolph (away) and Washington and Lee (home).
Guilford, which is Sanborn’s alma mater, is the ODAC’s reigning champion.
Ferrum’s women’s team opens its season November 10 against Mary Baldwin at home and plays its first conference game 10 days later at home against Guilford. A non-league contest at Greensboro closes the first month of the season.
The Panthers play two conference games in December: home versus Shenandoah (December 1) and at Emory & Henry (December 4). The 2019 portion of the schedule concludes with a visit to Maryville (December 7) and home games against Averett (December 16) and Meredith (December 30).
In January, Ferrum plays conference foes Washington and Lee (home), Eastern Mennonite (away), Hollins (home), Bridgewater (away), Roanoke (away), Randolph (home), Lynchburg (home) and Guilford (away).
League play continues in February and the Panthers are scheduled to play Shenandoah (away), Emory & Henry (home), Bridgewater (home), Hollins (away), Randolph-Macon (home), Lynchburg (away) and Virginia Wesleyan (away).
Shenandoah is the ODAC’s reigning champion.