RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros men’s basketball team completed the weekend sweep of the Dixie State University Trailblazers with a 72-65 victory on Saturday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.
The Vaqueros (8-3, 2-0 WAC) are now off to an 8-3 start for the first time since 2001-02, when the team started 13-3.
Senior Javon Levi led the Vaqueros with 16 points and a season-high 11 assists for his first double-double of the season. Junior Sean Rhea scored 12 points with eight rebounds. Senior Chris Freeman scored 11 points with four rebounds. Junior LaQuan Butler scored 10 points with two steals. Junior Uche Dibiamaka also scored 10 points.
Cameron Gooden led the Trailblazers (4-5, 0-2 WAC) with 18 points, four assists and two steals. Hunter Schofield finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jarod Greene scored 10 points.
The Trailblazers led 7-4 before Rhea hit three-straight baskets to give the Vaqueros a 10-7 lead.
Then with the Vaqueros up 18-14, the Trailblazers scored eight-straight points to take a 22-18 lead.
Later, with the Trailblazers still up four, Dibiamaka came up with a one-hand jam as the Vaqueros scored six-straight points to go up 28-26.
The Trailblazers led 35-32 late in the half, but a Levi free throw and layup follow by a buzzer-beating layup by senior Rob McClain Jr. put the Vaqueros up 37-35.
The game was tied at 40 early in the second half when the Trailblazers went on a 13-7 run to take a 55-49 lead.
Butler responded by hitting back-to-back baskets to spark a 15-3 run and give the Vaqueros the lead for good.
UTRGV is back in action on Friday at 8 p.m. against New Mexico State at Antelope Gymnasium on the campus of Grand Canyon. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Arizona Plus and Comcast New Mexico. Fans can also watch for free online at WACDigitalNetwork.com.