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Fiery UTM ladies burn Austin Peay

Fiery UTM ladies burn Austin Peay
The UT Martin women caught fire again to knock off Austin Peay 79-70 on Thursday night.
Alecia Weatherly poured in a career-high 25 points to top a list of four Skyhawk women in twin figures.
Union City product Labrica Ward finished the night with 18 points, while Paige Smith added 10 to go along with the 12 points Erica Glisson poured in at the free throw line.
The win improves UT Martin’s record to 6-15 on the year and 4-7 in Ohio Valley Conference. The victory also marks the first time the Skyhawk women have won back-to-back games since the 2006-07 season.
In the nightcap, the UTM men came back from an 18 point deficit to trail by three with half a minute remaining, but ultimately fell 74-69 to the Govenors.
UC product Marquis Weddle led all scorers with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting. He also tied a career-high with eight rebounds for UT Martin.
Fellow Skyhawk and Union City graduate MJ Brown had nine ponts, three rebounds and three assists in his 20 minutes on the floor.
Both UT Martin teams return to action at home on Saturday against Tennessee State. Tipoff for the women’s game is 4 p.m. with the men’s contest to follow.
UTM 79, APSU 70 (W)
The Skyhawk women opened the game with a 3-pointer by Ward at the top of the key and never looked back.
After Austin Peay answered with a jumper from Whitney Hanley, Ward again connected with a trifecta and Weatherly added a leaner in the lane to give the Skyhawks an 8-2 lead less than five minutes in.
“I was very pleased with the way we played in the first half, but we have to do a better job of closing out the game,” said Skyhawk head coach Kevin McMillan. “We shot the ball very well and did a better job of taking care of the ball for a large portion of the game, but we can’t have lapses like we did at the end if we want to compete every night.”
APSU 74, UTM 69 (M)
Benzor Simmons also chipped in 17 points — tying his career-high in 3-pointers (three) — for the Skyhawks, who used a 57 percent shooting (17-for-30) second half to outscore the Governors 45-39 in the second half.
The Skyhawks (3-18, 0-11 in OVC play) committed a season-low five turnovers.
“Tonight was a learning experience for us, especially down the stretch,” James said. “The last couple of minutes I thought when we needed stops, we got them and that’s the first time that’s happened in a long time for us. It gives you confidence because you saw what you can do defensively. But on the flipside, we still have to be a lot smarter and clean up a lot of things.”
UT Martin made one final push – completing a 7-2 run on a jumper by Weddle in the paint with 39 seconds left to play.
On Austin Peay’s ensuing possession, Coleman came up with a big steal to give the Skyhawks a chance to tie the game.
However, a Governor defensive rebound on a missed lay-up caused UT Martin to foul Channels with 21 seconds left.
Wes Channels made one of two free throws, and UT Martin missed back-to-back three-point attempts with under 20 seconds left.
Fraley came up with his 14th and final rebound of the night and found Channels, who was immediately fouled.
With five seconds left, Channels once again made one of two of his attempts from the charity stripe and time ran out on the UT Martin comeback effort.

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