UTRGV Men and Women Split Thursday WAC games

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EDINBURG – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros women’s basketball team fell 72-58 to the Kansas City Roos on Thursday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.

Redshirt junior Amara Graham led UTRGV (9-13, 4-5 WAC) with 14 points by making a career-high four three-pointers. Redshirt sophomore Ashlei Lopez added 12 points with a pair of rebounds while redshirt junior Zhane Templeton chipped in with nine points and six rebounds.

Ericka Mattingly led all scorers with 17 points with nine assists. Tajah Foster-Walker added 14 points with five rebounds while Cristina Soriano scored 12 points with 15 rebounds and seven assists. Emily Ivory chipped in with 12 points.

UTRGV jumped out to the early 9-2 lead after a three-pointer by Graham, a jumper by Templeton, and a pair of free throws and a layup from graduate student Jordan Agustus. Kansas City (14-9, 7-2 WAC) answered back with a 9-0 that was capped by a three-pointer by Ivory to take the 11-9 lead.

After another three-pointer by Graham that gave UTRGV the 12-11 lead, Kansas City closed out the first quarter with 12 straight points to take the 23-12 lead.

In the second quarter, a layup by junior Trelynn Tyler got UTRGV within 26-20 with 6:19 left in the half but later in the quarter back-to-back buckets from Mattingly got Kansas City’s lead to 35-25 before taking the 38-27 lead into halftime.

Kansas City opened the scoring in the third with back-to-back layups by Foster-Walker before senior Megan Johnson and Agustus answered back with layups of their own to get UTRGV within 42-31 with 7:01 left in the third.

The Roos closed out the quarter with buckets from Mattingly and Janaie Johnson before opening the fourth quarter with nine straight points to open up its lead to 68-40. Kansas City took its biggest lead of the night after a jumper by Foster-Walker that made it 72-42 with 6:04 left to play.

The Vaqueros didn’t allow another point as they closed out the game with a 16-0 run but the lead was too much to overcome.

The Vaqueros will back in action on Saturday when it hosts Chicago State at 12 p.m. at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Senior Lesley Varner II scored became the 26th player in program history to score 1,000 points in his career as The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros men's basketball team completed the season sweep of the Kansas City Roos with a 73-60 victory on Thursday at the Swinney Center.

Varner scored 23 points to increase his career total to 1,007, just shy of Steve Heard (1957-61), who ranks 25th in program history with 1,019 points.

Graduate student Jordan Jackson also reached double-figures for the Vaqueros (8-14, 4-5 WAC), scoring 16 points. Junior Chris Freeman finished with nine points.

Rob Whitfield led the Roos (12-12, 4-5 WAC) with 13 points. Javan White scored 10 points with seven rebounds and three blocks. Josiah Allick also finished with 10 points.

The Roos led 5-3 out of the gate, but Varner hit three baskets and two free throws as part of a 12-0 run to give the Vaqueros a 14-5 lead midway through the first half.

The Vaqueros led by as much as 12 in the first half, going up 25-13 on a Varner jumper.

The Vaqueros pushed their lead to 13 early in the second half on a dunk by sophomore Sean Rhea that made the score 37-24. That was part of a 10-2 run that put the Vaqueros up 43-26.

The Roos pulled within 48-32 with 14:19 remaining. The Vaqueros held the Roos scoreless for the next 5:44 while scoring seven points to extend their lead to 55-32.

The Roos scored nine of the next 10 points and climbed to within 64-48, but the Vaqueros responded by scoring six of the next nine points, capped by a Jackson dunk, to push the game out of reach.

UTRGV visits Chicago State on Saturday at 12 p.m.


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