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Punished LaBrica sits out UTM loss

Punished LaBrica sits out UTM loss
The UT Martin women’s basketball team entered Thursday night’s game against Jacksonville State far from full strength as three of the normal starting five suffered from a stomach virus and Union City product LaBrica Ward was forced from the lineup for disciplinary reasons.
Despite the setbacks, the game was tied with 1:22 left in the game, but the Skyhawk women eventually fell 56-51.
The loss ends UT Martin’s three-game win streak and drops its record to 7-16 on the year and 5-8 in Ohio Valley Conference play.
In the nightcap, ex-UCHS prep basketball standout Marquis Weddle came off the bench for the second straight game and totaled a team-best 17 points but the Skyhawks (4-20, 1-13 in OVC play) fell 80-68 loss to the Gamecocks.
Both UTM teams return to action Saturday afternoon at Tennessee Tech.
The women’s game is slated for 5:30 with the men’s OVC contest to follow.
Jax. St. 56, UTM 51 (W)
Ward, who had been honored by the OVC twice with weekly honors of late after a troubled prep career at Union City, is expected to return to the team Saturday after violating team rules and serving a one-game suspension Thursday.
The Skyhawks opened the game with Dyer County product Cali Cupples on the sidelines in street clothes because of the stomach virus.
Alecia Weatherly was visibly weakened by the same thing after missing practice Wednesday.
Darnisha Lyles also developed similar symptoms and spent a portion of the first half in the locker room.
Lyles finished the game with a career-high 21 points, while Weatherly added 12 markers and Smith chipped in nine.
Jax. St. 80, UTM 68 (M)
For Weddle, it was his sixth straight game to lead the team in scoring and 10th overall time in 14 contests this year.
Benzor Simmons also chipped in with 12 points off the bench, while Andres Irarrazabal put together his second straight impressive game with 12 points and a team-high six rebounds.
UC product MJ Brown had seven points and three assists in his 29 minutes of action.
The teams traded buckets twice in the first two minutes of play before Marshall heated up – hitting two three-pointers that began an 8-0 Jacksonville State run to put the Gamecocks up 12-4 at the 15:22 mark.

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