Texas Border Business
RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros men’s basketball team opened up Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play with an 82-49 victory over the Dixie State University Trailblazers on Friday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.
The 33-point margin of victory is the largest in a conference game in program history, breaking the previous record of 31 set in a 77-46 home victory over Chicago State on Jan. 31, 2020.
The Vaqueros (7-3, 1-0 WAC) are now off to a 7-3 start for the first time since 2004-05.
Junior Sean Rhea led the Vaqueros with 16 points, four rebounds and two steals. Junior Uche Dibiamaka scored a career-high tying 15 points with two steals. Senior Javon Levi scored 12 points with four rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Senior Chris Freeman scored 11 points while hitting a trio of three-pointers and grabbing five rebounds. Graduate student Jeff Otchere recorded six blocks with six rebounds and three points.
Cameron Gooden led the Trailblazers (4-4, 0-1 WAC) with 13 points and five rebounds.
The Trailblazers led 5-4 out of the gate, but the Vaqueros hit six of their next nine shots, including a trio of three-pointers, to score the next 15 points as part of a 19-2 run that later expanded to a 33-8 run, putting the Vaqueros up 37-13.
The Trailblazers closed the half on an 11-4 run to pull to within 41-24, but the Vaqueros responded by opening the second half on an 14-2 run, capped by an emphatic dunk by senior Rob McClain Jr., to push the game out of reach.
UTRGV is back in action on Saturday at 6 p.m. against Dixie State at the UTRGV Fieldhouse. UTRGV Athletics is capping capacity at the UTRGV Fieldhouse at 255 fans made up of current UTRGV students, season ticket holders, corporate partners, and families of student-athletes and coaches. Doors open at 5. For more information about game day, visit GoUTRGV.com/game-day.
Fans can also watch for free online at WACDigitalNetwork.com.