Tech teams hosting quarterfinals Wednesday

F. Brian Ferguson/For The Register-HeraldWVU Tech cheerleader Alex Fennell helps cheer on his Lady Golden Bears against Ohio Christian Feb. 6 at the Beckley Raleigh County Convention Center. The men and women will host River States Conference Tournament quarterfinal games Wednesday.

On the heels of a historic night for WVU Tech women's basketball, they and the men will return to Beckley for a home postseason doubleheader.

Both teams will host quarterfinal games in the River States Conference tournaments Wednesday night at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. The women, who drew the No. 10 seed, will take on No. 9 Midway at 5:15 p.m. The Tech men are seeded No. 7 and will play No. 9 Indiana-Kokomo at 7:30 p.m.

The women advanced with Monday's 96-48 first-round win at No. 11 Carlow. In that game, senior Brittney Justice became the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,592 career points. The previous record was set in 2019 by Savannah Shamblin, who was an honorable mention All-American that season.

Justice, a second-team All-American in 2020, leads the Golden Bears (9-8) at 16.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game and is a 47.1 percent shooter. Twin sister Whittney Justice, who also reached the 1,000-point plateau this season, averages 12.9 points per game. She shoots at 50 percent and is sixth in the nation in 3-point percentage at 48.4 (31-of-64).

Alex Gray averages 9.5 points and 5.2 rebounds. ShanEttine Butler and Brianna Ball both average 8.3 ppg, and Ball pulls down 6.1 boards.

Midway (13-7) drew the No. 9 seed, which was designated to receive a first-round bye. Tech defeated the Eagles 75-67 on the road Jan. 26.

Leading the way for Midway is senior forward Alyson Callahan (14.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg). Junior forward Jill Enix (13.4 ppg), junior forward Leah Shelley (10.2) and junior guard Kindall Talley (10.1) are also double-digit scorers. Freshman guard Jalyn Jackson averages 9.5 points and 4.95 assists.

The Tech men (9-6) drew a first-round bye with their No. 7 seed. Indiana-Kokomo advanced with Monday's 112-76 victory over No. 8 Oakland City. It was the Cougars' third win this season over the Oaks, who are in their first year as members of the RSC.

Tech and Kokomo did not meet in the regular season, but the Golden Bears will be looking for redemption. The Cougars eliminated Tech from last year's tournament with a 73-64 semifinal win in Summersville.

Darrin Martin is leading the Golden Bears with 15.2 points and 4.7 assists per game. Ashton Parker averages 7.9 ppg and leads the team with 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. Andreas Jonsson (14.5 ppg, 1.5 steals) is in the top 40 nationally in 3-point percentage at 47.3 (53-of-112). Juvanté Hayes is at 13.1 ppg.

Tamon Scruggs has played nine of the team's 15 games and is averaging 15.3 ppg and 6.1 rpg.

The Cougars are 7-1, and Wednesday's game will be their fourth in eight days. They were hit especially hard by the coronavirus, having nine consecutive games canceled or postponed at one point and then another 12 straight from the end of December until Feb. 17.

Through eight games, IU-Kokomo is one of the top defending teams in the nation, ranking first in 3-point percentage defense (24.7) and second in defensive rebounds (34.0).

Senior guard Trequan Spivey leads the Cougars at 18.4 points and 3.3 assists. Desean Hampton, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound senior forward, averages 16.0 points and team-highs of 9.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. Senior guards Allante Harper (16.0) and Billie Webster (10.5) round out their double-digit scorers.

The winners will advance to Saturday's semifinals. Championship games will be played Tuesday, and each finalist will receive an automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament.

Tickets are available online at etix.com/ticket/v/13244 or at the door. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and are good for both games.

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

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