UTRGV Falls to Islanders

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EDINBURG - The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros men's basketball team fell to the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders 83-77 as part of the South Texas Showdown, presented by Navy Army Community Credit Union, on Wednesday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse in front of a crowd of 1,681.


Junior Justin Johnson led the Vaqueros (4-4) with 33 points on 12-of-16 shooting, eight rebounds and a career-high tying four assists. Graduate student Marek Nelson scored 16 points with three rebounds, a career-high tying four rebounds, a career-high four steals and one block. Junior Ricky “Doc” Nelson scored eight points with four assists. Freshman RayQuan Taylor grabbed a career-high tying eight rebounds.


Isaac Mushila led the Islanders (6-1) with 28 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. Myles Smith scored 16 points with four rebounds and three steals. Terrion Murdix scored 14 points with five assists and three steals.


Marek Nelson made an early three and a layup to help the Vaqueros jump out to a 12-6 lead. The Islanders scored the next four points, but a three by graduate student Xavier Johnson and an alley-oop dunk by Marek Nelson put the Vaqueros up 17-10.


The Islanders responded with an 11-4 run to pull within 21-20, but the Vaqueros scored the next five points to go up 26-20. The Islanders answered with four-straight points and then the teams started trading baskets, with the Vaqueros leading 36-34 at halftime.


Justin Johnson opened the second half with a pair of free throws before the Islanders went on a 12-2 run to take their first lead.


The Vaqueros regained the lead on a layup by freshman Donte Houston Jr. that made the score 59-58 with 7:06 remaining. The Islanders, however, scored the next eight points to take the lead for good.


The Vaqueros got as close as 77-73 on a three-point play by junior LaQuan Butler with 1:11 to go.


UTRGV visits No. 7 Texas on Friday at 6 p.m. in a game that will be televised on Longhorn Network.


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