Tech returns home Saturday

F. Brian Ferguson/For The Register-HeraldWVU Tech’s Ashton Parker (3) drives for the rim as Carlow’s Marcus Millien defends Jan. 22 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. The men and women will host Ohio Christian on Saturday.

Both WVU Tech basketball teams will try to bounce back from tough midweek trips to Rio Grande.

Ohio Christian will visit the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center on Saturday afternoon. The women will meet at 2 p.m., followed by the men at 4:30 p.m.

For the first time this academic year, spectators will be allowed at Tech athletic events. Each player and coach will be allowed two guests. Up to 420 fans will be allowed in the venue on a first-come, first-served basis via online ticket sales at beckleyconventioncenter.com, or walk up the day of the event. Social distancing will be required of fans not in family units.

Spectators must wear masks at all times unless actively eating and/or drinking. Only coaches, players, media and staff will be allowed on the floor.

The Tech women (5-7) are coming off Tuesday’s 93-79 loss at Rio Grande. The loss snapped Tech’s 31-game regular season conference win streak.

Senior Brittney Justice leads the Golden Bears with 15.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game. Twin sister Whittney Justice is fourth in NAIA in 3-point percentage at 53.7 percent (22-of-41) and is averaging 14.4 ppg.

Point guard Kathylee Pinnock Branford made her return from injury against Rio Grande. She had three points, three steals and three assists in 14 minutes.

Ohio Christian (7-6) won last season’s River States Conference Tournament. The Trailblazers are led by 6-foot center Rachel Gillum. The sophomore leads the nation with 17.2 rebounds per game and is 11th with 21.9 points and 18th in blocks at 2.1.

The Tech men, meanwhile, suffered a heartbreaking 69-68 loss to the RedStorm on Wednesday. Shiloah Blevins’ putback at the buzzer gave Rio the victory.

The Golden Bears (7-5) will be facing Ohio Christian for the second time in two weeks. Tech left Circleville with an 84-69 victory on Jan. 23.

Darrin Martin is averaging 16.7 points and 5.4 assists for Tech. Andreas Jonsson (15.5 ppg) is sixth in the nation in 3-pointers made per game (3.9) and 14th in 3-point percentage (47-of-90 for 52.2 percent).

Tamon Scruggs is averaging 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds in six games since returning from injury.

The Trailblazers (4-9) are led by forward Justin Barksdale. The 6-3 junior averages 13.8 points and 7.2 rebounds. 

Email: gfauber@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber

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