GW adds rare Big Ten matchup to 2015-16 schedule

GW adds rare Big Ten matchup to 2015-16 schedule
June 9, 2014, 4:00 pm
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(Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports)

George Washington's schedule last season included several power conference programs. The 2014-15 version will as well. 

The latest addition announced on Monday has the Colonials in a home-and-home series with Penn State. GW will travel this year, facing the Nittany Lions at the Bryce Jordan Center on Dec. 14, 2014. Penn State will visit the Smith Center during the 2015-16 season, though no date has been announced.

This will mark the Colonials first matchup versus a Big Ten opponent from the Big Ten since 2004 when they upset No. 11 Michigan State in the BB&T Classic. The Nittany Lions will become the fourth Big Ten school to play at the Smith Center and the first since 1986.

GW finished 24-9 last season, reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. The Nittany Lions went 16-18, but did sweep Ohio State.

"Pat [Chambers] and his staff have done a great job improving the program at Penn State and we look forward to having another quality opponent from the Big Ten on our schedule for the next two years," coach Mike Lonergan said in a statement.

While at Vermont, Lonergan faced Chambers' Boston University teams five times.

Previously George Washington and Virginia announced a series starting this season with the Colonials playing at Charlottesville in November. GW will also be one of eight teams in the Diamond Head Classic from Dec. 22-25. Others in the field include Wichita State, Colorado, Nebraska and DePaul.

The Colonials, who reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007 and posted the second-most wins in program history with 24 in 2013-14, will face their first opponent from the Big Ten since 2004 when they upset No. 11/9 Michigan State, 96-83, in the BB&T Classic. The Nittany Lions' visit in 2015-16 would mark just the fourth Big Ten foe to visit Smith Center since opening in 1975 (Michigan State - 1984, 1986; Wisconsin - 1977).

GW is 11-19 all-time against its former Atlantic 10 rival Penn State with the most recent meeting coming in a 71-57 neutral-site, non-conference win by the Colonials in the 1991 Palm Beach Classic in Florida. The two teams last met as league foes in the 1991 A-10 Championship game with the Nittany Lions edging the Colonials, 81-75, in University Park for their lone A-10 title.