By Nick Cammuso
Times West Virginian
After an unexpected hiccup at home on Monday against Wheeling Jesuit, Fairmont State’s men’s basketball team is in search of a bounce-back win tonight when its visits league foe West Virginia State.
The Falcon women will try to kick-start a win streak during the 5:30 p.m. opener; the men’s matchup gets under way at 7:30 p.m. Both FSU teams are in second place in the WVIAC standings.
The men’s team is 15-5 overall and 13-3 in the WVIAC, while the women are 14-7 and 12-4 in conference play.
Coach Jerrod Calhoun's squad was riding a five-game winning streak and flirting with a spot in the Division II national poll before the Cardinals nabbed a 70-65 victory.
State, which had four players in double figures, held a double-digit lead in the first half and weathered a huge FSU comeback attempt to hold on.
W.Va. State (9-13, 6-10 WVIAC) has notched a pair of convincing wins going into play today, including an 111-point effort against Urbana (Ohio) earlier in the week.
Anton Hutchins leads State with 15.1 points per game, and Raymon Austin averages 10.4 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds.
In the previous meeting with State on Jan. 14, FSU rolled to an 88-60 win at the Joe Retton Arena as the team shot a red-hot 60 percent from the field. Isaac Thornton scored 26 and Isaiah Hill 25 in the win.
On the women’s side, FSU bounced back from a blowout road loss at West Virginia Wesleyan to post a 64-58 win over Wheeling Jesuit Monday. Kaitlin Snyder scored 20 points and handed out four assists, and Hailey Garrett had her 10th double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
State (9-11, 8-8 WVIAC) is riding a five-game win streak. Jasmine Blanton leads the team with 17.3 points per game, and WVSU has three players averaging at least seven rebounds per game in Janelle Wililams, Asia Greenleaf and Kashauna Cook.
Fairmont State had little trouble with State in a 66-50 triumph in Fairmont on Jan. 14. Snyder led the way with 21 points and as a team, the Lady Falcons hit seven three-pointers, forced 20 turnovers and limited the Yellow Jackets to just 33 percent shooting.
NOTE: Information in this report was provided by fightingfalcons.com.