Two WVU Tech basketball teams heading in opposite directions return home tonight for some conference action.
The Golden Bears will host Ohio Christian at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. The women will tip off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men at 7:30 p.m.
The women (6-6, 1-0 River States Conference) have lost three straight, but those losses came to three tough opponents. They fell 83-68 to Campbellsville, which is ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division I, last Tuesday before dropping games to unbeaten Reinhardt (86-64) and Division II No. 3 Marian (83-69) at the NAIA Showcase over the weekend.
The Lady Bears have four players averaging in double figures, led by guard Brittney Justice at 17.0 points per game. She also averages 5.9 rebounds. Her 204 total points are sixth in the country.
Whittney Justice, a recent RSC Player of the Week, averages 13.1 ppg and has 18 steals. Senior center Laura Requena averages 12.4 points and a team-high 8.6 boards.
Alex Gray (10.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg) is ninth in the country in free-throw percentage at 88.2 (30-of-34).
Kathylee Pinnock Branford has 42 assists and 19 steals.
Tech is second in the conference in rebounding margin at plus-10.3.
Ohio Christian (6-3, 0-0) is currently fourth in the nation in scoring at 92.9 points per game. The Lady Trailblazers have two players averaging double-doubles — Staci Dinsmore at 15.0 points and 11.6 rebounds, and Rachel Gillum (14.8, 10.1). Dinsmore is also second in the nation in assists (6.8) and steals (4.1) and third in defensive rebounds (9.0).
The Tech men, meanwhile, come back home riding a three-game winning streak. The Golden Bears have some momentum going after defeating Bluefield College (71-69) and Milligan (81-62) at the NAIA Showcase.
Junior Tamon Scruggs has put together an all-around game through nine games and leads the Golden Bears (5-4, 1-0) with 17.1 points and 8.1 rebounds. The two-time RSC Player of the Week can score inside and is also a 50-percent 3-point shooter, knocking down 21 of his 42 attempts.
Point guard Junior Arrey is next at 14.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.0 steals. Tech is balanced in its scoring from there, with six players averaging from 8.9 to 5.6 points.
Ohio Christian (2-8, 0-0) is led by forward Raybon Lewis at 15.6 points and 8.2 rebounds. Justin Barksdale is at 12.9 ppg and 6.4 rpg, and David Froege comes in averaging 11.0 ppg.
register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber