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Vaqueros Drop Pair To Grand Canyon

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EDINBURG - The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros men's basketball team fell to the Grand Canyon University Lopes 87-79 on Thursday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.

Junior Javon Levi led the Vaqueros (6-14, 2-5 WAC) by posting his third double-double with 15 points, a career-high tying 13 assists and three steals. Graduate student Jordan Jackson scored a team-high 16 points with four rebounds and four assists. Freshman Quinton Johnson II scored 15 points with two steals and two blocks.

The Vaqueros forced 21 turnovers, scoring 26 points off those turnovers.

Alessandro Lever led the Lopes (9-12, 4-3 WAC) with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists. Isiah Brown scored 18 points while hitting four three-pointers. Jovan Blacksher Jr. scored 13 points with six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Carlos Johnson scored 13 points with four assists. Mikey Dixon also finished with 13 points.

The Lopes scored the first five points of the game while jumping out to leads of 8-2 and 10-4. Jackson answered with a three to spark a 9-2 run that put UTRGV up 13-12.

The game stayed within two possessions until a Lever layup gave the Lopes a 34-26 lead with 4:59 remaining in the first half. The Vaqueros went on another 9-2 run, punctuated by a jumper by sophomore Sean Rhea, to pull within 36-35 three minutes later.

The Vaqueros were still within one at 45-44 on a three by senior Lesley Varner II with 16:39 remaining. Lopez pushed their lead to 62-53 before a three by junior Chris Freeman sparked a 7-1 run to bring the Vaqueros within 63-60. The Lopes, however, followed with an 8-2 run to go up 71-62. The Vaqueros got as close as five at 73-68 on a Johnson jumper with 3:34 left.

UTRGV hosts CSU Bakersfield for season ticket holder appreciation night on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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PHOENIX, Ariz. – For the second-straight game, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros women’s basketball team dropped an overtime game in the closing seconds, falling 62-60 to Grand Canyon University (GCU) on Thursday at GCU Arena.

Redshirt junior Zhane Templeton led UTRGV (8-12, 3-4 WAC) with 12 points while junior Trelynn Tyler added 10 points with six rebounds. Graduate student Desirea Buerge chipped in with eight points and 10 rebounds.

GCU (10-8, 5-2 WAC) was led by Laura Piera with 13 points while she dished out six assists. Mae Bryant added 10 points while Da’jah Daniel chipped in nine points and 14 rebounds.

In overtime, GCU scored the first three points of overtime at the free throw line before a layup from junior Amara Graham got UTRGV within 58-57. After a layup by Piera, a Tyler free throw and a layup by senior Megan Johnson tied the game at 60-60 with 1:15 left to play.

A foul with just one second on the clock sent Bryant to the line as she converted the pair of free throws to give GCU the victory.

The Vaqueros didn’t lead in the opening quarter as GCU took the 13-6 lead after a layup from Jada Holland but an 8-2 run by the Vaqueros got them back in the game as jumper from Templeton tied the game at 15-15 at the end of the first.

UTRGV came started the second quarter by scoring seven of the first eight points taking the 22-17 lead. After an 8-0 run by GCU, the Vaqueros put together a 10-1 run of their own that was capped by a pair of free throws and a layup by Buerge to close out the first half with the 32-26 lead.

Graham got the scoring started in the second half with a layup giving UTRGV its biggest lead of the night at 34-26. GCU battled back as a three-pointer by Tavia Rowell cut into UTRGV’s lead making it 36-34 but a jumper by Tyler and a three-pointer by redshirt sophomore Ashlei Lopez pushed the lead back up to 41-34.

GCU answered with a 9-2 run to close out the third quarter leaving the game tied at 43-43.

Both teams went back-and-forth in the fourth quarter as UTRGV scored the first seven points with a jumper by Templeton, a three-point play by freshman Halie Jones and a layup by Templeton for the 50-43 lead. GCU battle back once again to tie the game on a layup by Holland to set up overtime.

The Vaqueros will back in action on Saturday when it visits CSU Bakersfield at 4 p.m.

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