UTRGV earns upset win 68-65 over Tarleton
STEPHENVILLE – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros men's basketball team became the first team to beat the Tarleton Texans at Wisdom Gym this year, winning 68-65 on Saturday.
The Texans (12-11, 5-5 WAC) had been 10-0 at home as part of a 12-game home winning streak.
The Vaqueros (12-12, 3-8 WAC) have now won two of their last three games.
Senior Justin Johnson led the Vaqueros (11-12, 2-8 WAC) with 16 points and five rebounds and five assists. Freshman Adante’ Holiman scored a career-high tying 15 points while hitting three 3-pointers. Junior Ahren Freeman scored 12 points with nine rebounds. Junior C.J. Jackson scored 10 points. Junior Daylen Williams finished with seven points and nine rebounds.
Shamir Bogues led the Texans (12-10 5-4 WAC) with 19 points, five rebounds and four steals. Lue Williams scored 14 points. Freddy Hicks scored 13 points with five rebounds.
The Vaqueros led 4-3 out of the gate on a Freeman layup and a Johnson jumper. The Texans scored the next four points and led by three twice, including at 10-7.
That’s when the Vaqueros caught fire, going on a 19-5 run over the span of six and a half minutes to go up 26-15. During that span, Jackson hit three layups, Holiman hit a 3 and a layup, and Johnson made two layups and three free throws, including a 3-point play to cap the run.
The Texans responded by scoring the next six points and were still within five at 28-23 before the Vaqueros went on an 8-1 run, capped by a Holiman 3-pointer and a Johnson layup, to take a 36-24 halftime lead.
The Vaqueros still led by 10 early in the second half on a Williams dunk. The Vaqueros were up nine at 42-33 on a layup by sophomore Sherman Brashear before a 7-0 Texans run made it a one possession game.
Jackson pushed back with a 3-pointer to make the score 45-40 before the Texans went on a 7-1 run to regain the lead at 47-46.
After a free throw tied the game, a pair of free throws by graduate student Dima Zdor put the Vaqueros up 50-48. A Johnson free throw made the score 51-50. The Texans went on up 52-51 before a Freeman jumper restored the Vaqueros’ lead. Then, with the Texans up 54-53, Holiman and Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Vaqueros up 59-54. That was the start of a 12-6 run to put the Vaqueros up 65-60 with 1:27 remaining.
The Texans pulled within two before a Johnson jumper made the score 67-63 with 46 seconds left. Holiman hit a free throw with 12 seconds to go and the Vaqueros successfully defended on the final possession to come away with the victory.
UTRGV hosts UT Arlington at the UTRGV Fieldhouse on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to kick off homecoming weekend. UTRGV will wear throwback Broncs uniforms and honor the 1962-63 national championship team for their 60th anniversary. Tickets are on sale now at UTRGVTickets.com. Current UTRGV students receive free general admission with their student ID. All fans need to follow the clear bag policy, details of which can be found at GoUTRGV.com/ClearBag. The party starts in Schlotzsky's Vaquero Village at 5 p.m. After the game, fans are encouraged to go to the parking lot for the annual burning of the UTRGV letters.
Fans unable to attend in person can watch domestically on ESPN+ or internationally via WAC International.