LOCAL COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: GSW men’s basketball adds Division I UCF to schedule; Lady ’Canes release 2012-13 slate

AMERICUS — For the third year in a row, the Georgia Southwestern men’s basketball team will travel out of state to face a major Division I school.

This upcoming season, the Hurricanes will go on the road Feb. 26 to Orlando to face the University of Central Florida at 7 p.m. in the 10,000-seat UCF Arena.

The Knights were nearly unbeatable at home last year. They finished 16-1, losing to only Southern Miss on Jan. 28. The Knights will return their top three scorers from a year ago, including Marcus Jordan (13.7 ppg), son of NBA legend Michael Jordan

A current member of Conference USA, UCF will join the Big East in 2013-14. The university boasts the second-largest enrollment in the United States with more than 58,000 students.

In accordance with current NCAA rules, the matchup between GSW and UCF will be considered a regular-season game for the Knights and an exhibition for the Division II Hurricanes.

GSW traveled to Florida State for an exhibition last season and squared off against Auburn in a regular-season game during the 2010-11 campaign. Prior to those meetings, it had been almost 27 years since the Hurricanes played a school out of a major Division I conference. GSW came up short against the University of Texas in 1983, losing, 77-60, in Austin.

GSW WOMEN RELEASE SCHEDULE: Coming off its best season since becoming a Division II program in 2006, the GSW women’s hoops team has released its 2012-13 schedule.

The Lady Hurricanes, who are on the road for five of their first six games, will take part in the University of West Florida Tip-Off Tournament on Nov. 9-10 before a quick stop in Americus for the home opener Nov. 17 against Valdosta State. Then it’s back on the road for GSW with games against Albany State and Fort Valley State.

The Lady Hurricanes begin Peach Belt Conference play Dec. 11 at Georgia College. Clayton State comes to Americus on Dec. 15, and Mars Hill visits GSW on New Year’s Eve for their first-ever meeting.

GSW opens 2013 at home with visits from USC Aiken (Jan. 3) and PBC newcomer Young Harris (Jan. 5) before playing at Francis Marion (Jan. 12) and UNC Pembroke (Jan. 13).

After a quick stop at home to play Montevallo (Jan. 17), GSW hits the road for its toughest stretch of the season — a four-game PBC swing that includes visits to Flagler (Jan. 19), Armstrong (Jan. 21), North Georgia (Jan. 24) and Columbus State (Jan. 26).

Five of GSW’s final eight games will be at home: Lander (Jan. 30), Columbus State (Feb. 7), Georgia College (Feb. 9), Augusta State (Feb. 16) and North Georgia (Mar. 2).

The PBC Tournament begins Mar. 7 at Columbus State with the top four teams in each division qualifying for the postseason event.

The Lady Hurricanes are coming off an 18-9 record last season and won a program-best 10 conference games.

The Lady Hurricanes lost their top five scorers, including All-PBC selections Terra Branch (15.7 ppg) and Adrian Randall (11.8 ppg/10.2 rpg).