UTRGV Falls in WAC Tournament to Tarleton 74-70
LAS VEGAS – No. 10 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros men’s basketball team fell to the No. 7 Tarleton Texans 74-70 in the opening round of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament on Tuesday at Michelob ULTRA Arena.
Junior C.J. Jackson led the Vaqueros (15-17) with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a career-high 3-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. Sophomore Will Johnston scored 14 points. Senior Justin Johnson scored 13 points. Junior Daylen Williams scored 12 points with five rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.
Jakorie Smith led the Texans (17-15) with 26 points and eight rebounds. Freddy Hicks scored 18 points with eight rebounds. Shamir Bogues scored 17 points with five assists.
Junior Ahren Freeman opened the game with a layup to put the Vaqueros up 2-0. The Texans responded with a 21-2 run to go up 21-4 midway through the half.
Johnson nailed a 3-pointer and then Williams followed with a 3-point play and a 3-pointer to bring the Vaqueros within 21-13.
After the Texans pushed their lead to 25-13, Johnston converted a 3-point play and made a 3-pointer as part of a 6-2 run to make the score 27-19.
The Texans scored the next four points, but sophomore Derrius Ward hit a jumper, Jackson rocked the rim with a dunk, sophomore Sherman Brashear nailed a 3, and Johnston made a jumper as the Vaqueros closed the half on a 9-0 run to pull within 31-28.
Jackson opened the second half with a pair of free throws to bring the Vaqueros within 31-30. The Texans scored the next six points to go up six before a Johnston 3-pointer and a Johnson layup made the score 37-35.
The Vaqueros trailed 46-41 when Jackson made a 3 and Johnson drove coast-to-coast for a layup to tie the game.
One possession later, Johnston made a deep 3 to give the Vaqueros their first lead since the opening minute at 49-48.
The Texans, however, responded by scoring the next 11 points as part of a 19-3 run to take a 67-52 lead.
Freshman Adante’ Holiman followed with back-to-back layups and then Williams converted a 3-point play to spark a 14-2 run to bring the Vaqueros within 69-66 with 1:33 remaining.
A Johnson 3 brought the Vaqueros within 71-69 with 19.6 seconds left and a Johnson free throw made the score 73-70 with 14.4 seconds remaining.
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