Varez Ward

Varez Ward’s request for pretrial diversion denied

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Due to the fact that former Auburn basketball player Varez Ward, who is up on two charges related to an alleged point-shaving scandal, has no prior criminal offenses lawyer Everett Hess was hopeful that his client’s request to enter a pretrial diversion plan would be granted by the prosecution.

No such luck for Ward as it was reported Wednesday that the prosecution has denied the request, with the prosecution not giving a reason in regards to why they made the decision either. The game prosecutors have zeroed in on is Auburn’s 56-53 loss at Arkansas on January 25, 2012.

Wess said based on what he has learned through discovery, it appears prosecutors will allege that Ward made an agreement with one other person and asked teammates to participate. He questioned whether prosecutors would be able to prove to a jury that there was a conspiracy and an agreement.

According to statsheet.com the final line for that contest was Arkansas -9.5, and Ward did not play in that particular game due to the fact that he was suspended after the school learned that the FBI was investigating the possibility of Ward shaving points.

Ward’s trial begins on November 4 in Montgomery. On May 30 he was indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud and bribery in sporting contests. He pleaded not guilty to both charges

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

WATCH LIVE: James Madison battles UNC-Wilmington on NBCSN

James Madison guard Shakir Brown, left, drives past Hofstra forward Denton Koon (12) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game in Harrisonburg, Va., Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP)
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Two of the top teams in the CAA battle on Saturday afternoon as James Madison travels to UNC-Wilmington. You can catch this matchup live on NBCSN at 3 p.m. EST.

UNC-Wilmington (19-5, 11-2) is currently the class of the conference as they hold a two-game lead over James Madison, William & Mary and Hofstra. The Seahawks have won 10 consecutive games and they’re led by guard Chris Flemmings, who is averaging 16.6 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game.

James Madison (19-7, 9-4) has won three consecutive games as they try to make up ground on UNC-Wilmington. Guard Ron Curry leads the Dukes in points (16.8 ppg) and assists (3.9 apg) as he’s having a very solid season.

These two teams played on Jan. 28 with UNC-Wilmington winning 78-73 on the road.

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Saturday afternoon.

VIDEO: Winthrop’s Keon Johnson goes coast-to-coast for buzzer-beater

Winthrop's Keon Johnson (5) shoots a layup while defended by Coastal Carolina's Warren Gillis during the first half of the Big South Conference Championship college basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Conway, S.C. Coastal Carolina won 81-70. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
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Winthop earned a Big South road win at Radford on Saturday afternoon as junior guard Keon Johnson raced coast-to-coast and buried the game-winner at the buzzer.

The 5-foot-7 Johnson erupted for 32 points in the win and he’s been one of the most potent mid-major scorers in the country this season. The win moves Winthrop to 18-7 on the season and their 10-4 mark in the Big South ties them with UNC Asheville atop the conference standings.

(H/T: LiveonASN)