ST. GEORGE — Both basketball teams from Utah Tech University will face critical Western Athletic Conference matchups against Abilene Christian on Thursday.

In St. George, Utah Tech’s women will face the Wildcats at 7 p.m. in Burns Arena. The Trailblazers (9-9, 3-4 WAC) play the third of a four-game homestand seeking to rebound from a 55-52 defeat Saturday against Utah Valley.

Leading scorer Breaunna Gillen sat out of that contest after getting banged up in the game against Southern Utah on Jan. 18, according to a news release.

Maddie Warren played the entire contest for the Trailblazers and accounted for a game-high 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals against UVU.

Catelyn Deaver shot 3-of-6 from the 3-point line and scored 14 points for Utah Tech. Alyson Deaver netted eight points and grabbed six rebounds and also snared six boards to go along with her seven points in the loss.

Abilene Christian (8-8, 4-3 WAC) is coming to St. George after a 74-65 loss at UT Arlington Saturday.

Like Utah Tech, ACU has four players who average double-digit scoring. Freshman Payton Hull (15 points per game) leads the WAC in 3-pointers made per game and 3-point shooting percentage (36.7 percent per game).

The Wildcats also boast the WAC’s leading rebounder in Bella Earle, who snags 8.44 boards per game and scores 11.7 points per game.

In this file photo, Tanner Christensen leads Utah Tech against North Dakota during a game in Burns Arena, Dec. 16, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

At almost the same time in Abilene, Texa,s Thursday night, a reeling Utah Tech men’s team will tip off against the Wildcats with a chance to gain ground in the WAC standings.

The Trailblazers (7-11, 3-4 WAC) have lost two in a row and four of their last five contests. Utah Tech has won two of its last 10 games and sits in eighth place in the 11-team WAC.

The Wildcats (7-11, 2-5 WAC) are one of the three teams that trail the Trailblazers in the WAC standings.

Junior Ali Abdou Dibba ranks fifth in the WAC and first on the Wildcats with 15.6 points per game. Airion Simmons (13.4) and Hunter Jack Madden (12.3) are fellow Wildcats averaging double-digit points per game.

The Trailblazers have yet to defeat ACU, falling in each of the three previous contests against the Wildcats.

The Voice of the Traiblazers Rod Zundel will have the live broadcast of the men’s game on The Fan Sports Network at 6 p.m. Thursday.

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