UTRGV Falls to Sam Houston State on Monday Night
EDINBURG – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros men's basketball team rallied back from a 23-point deficit to get as close as one before ultimately falling to the Sam Houston State University Bearkats 69-66 on Monday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.
The loss snaps the Vaqueros’ (5-3) nine-game home winning streak.
Junior Sean Rhea led the Vaqueros with his first double-double of the season, scoring a career-high 25 points with a season-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore Quinton Johnson II finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Zach Nutall led the Bearkats (5-5) with 14 points and eight rebounds. Demarkus Lampley scored 10 points with seven rebounds.
The Vaqueros trailed 56-33 with 12:17 remaining in the second half. That’s when Rhea bookended a 14-0 run with layups to bring the Vaqueros to within 56-47.
The Vaqueros pulled to within 61-53 on a pair of Rhea free throws with 4:04 remaining.
Then, down 65-54 with 1:20 left, Johnson hit a free throw, Rhea made two, and senior Chris Freeman made a three and two free throws to make the score 65-62.
After a pair of Lampley free throws, junior Ricky “Doc” Nelson made a jumper and junior LaQuan Butler made a layup to make the score 67-66, but Nutall made two free throws to complete the scoring.
The game was tight early, with the Vaqueros going up 8-6 and 11-8 on Rhea three-point plays, 13-11 on a jumper by sophomore Connor Raines, 17-12 on a layup by Butler, 20-14 on a Butler three, and 21-16 on a free throw by junior Marek Nelson.
The Bearkats responded by scoring the next 11 points as part of a 26-4 run close the half up 42-25.
The Beakats pushed their lead to 20 on a Lampley three at the start of the second half, but Rhea converted a three-point play and Johnson hit a three-pointer to bring the Vaqueros within 45-31.
The Bearkats answered by scoring the next nine points to go up 54-31
UTRGV is back in action on Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. against Dallas Christian at the UTRGV Fieldhouse