The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros women’s basketball team clinched a winning season for the second year in a row with a 78-56 victory over the Chicago State University Cougars on Saturday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.
Junior Shawnte’ Goff led two Vaqueros (16-12, 8-5 WAC) in double-figures scoring with 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Freshman Bernesha Peters scored 10 points. In her final home game, senior Rickell Preston scored nine points with seven rebounds and two steals.
Kaylee Allen led the Cougars (4-23, 2-11 WAC) with 23 points and nine rebounds.
The Vaqueros trailed 13-5 in the early going, but with one minute left in the first quarter, Goff hit a jumper, and the Vaqueros’ offense erupted, closing the half on a 34-8 run that included 17 points from Goff and seven from Preston to take a 39-21 lead. The Vaqueros went 13-for-21 from the field during the run while holding the Cougars to 3-of-17 shooting.
The Vaqueros continued their hot shooting at the start of the third quarter, as sophomore Hildur Björg Kjartansdóttir made a three to make it 42-32. The Cougars scored the next four points to climb within 15, but the Vaqueros scored seven-straight points as part of a 13-6 run to go up 57-33 on a Peters layup near the end of the quarter.
The Vaqueros led by at least 20 the rest of the way.
The Vaqueros wrap up the regular season on Saturday at 2 p.m. when they visit first place New Mexico State. The Vaqueros, who have already clinched at least the No. 3 seed, can sew up the No. 2 seed with a win or a Utah Valley loss at Grand Canyon.