State, UC on road as MEC play resumes
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia State and the University of Charleston both hit the road today as play resumes in the Mountain East Conference.
Meanwhile, WVU Tech resumes its NAIA independent schedule, playing Bluefield (Va.) College at the South Charleston Community Center.
The schools pick up play after the now-traditionally long holiday break. By rule, NCAA Division II teams went on hiatus from Dec. 22-29, and the schools took a longer break, at least between games. UC will play its first game in 21 days; State will play its first in 17 days.
"You ask your guys to keep running," said State coach Bryan Poore. "They do a little bit, but not enough to keep the conditioning you built back in August."
With Bo King in the fold, State (3-4, 0-4) will try to break its conference losing streak at Glenville State (5-3, 2-2). Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. King scored 38 points total in his first two games back, just before the break.
UC (5-3, 2-2) heads to West Virginia Wesleyan (7-5, 2-2) for a 4 p.m. contest. The Eagles are trying to break a two-game losing streak, which included a setback at Shepherd and a home loss to non-conference foe Shaw of Raleigh, N.C.
"It's been a pretty sizable break in comparison to others I've been through, but it's been good," UC coach Dwaine Osborne said of the long break.
Tech will be playing its first game in 15 days, a most welcome break for the Golden Bears. They have lost seven in a row, the last being a 108-52 setback at former Mid-South Conference foe Lindsey Wilson. By that time, Tech had played eight games in 21 days.
"We've had to rely on some new kids, young kids, but we're 8-8," said Tech coach Bob Williams. "It's a new season, new year. Hopefully we'll get healthier and get Stephen Coles [Arkansas Tech transfer, awaiting NAIA certification], and start to right the ship in the second half. ... We've played more games in the country, probably, [than anyone] at any level."
Both State and UC play home games Monday. State's games against Wesleyan have been moved up to 3 p.m. for the women and 5 p.m. for the men.
"We needed to get away from the [college football] national championship game, so can get something of a crowd," Poore said. "Wesleyan was OK with that."
UC's games against Glenville State remain at the usual 5:30 p.m. for the women and 7:30 p.m. for the men.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.