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UTRGV Men’s Basketball Completes Season Sweep of Corpus Christi

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CORPUS CHRISTI – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros men’s basketball team completed the season sweep of the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders with a 68-64 victory on Thursday at the American Bank Center as part of the South Texas Showdown, presented by Navy Army Community Credit Union.

The Vaqueros (4-2) now lead the Islanders (1-4) 12-0 in the showdown standings. This is the best start for either institution in the five years of the showdown. The previous record was 2018-19, when the Vaqueros jumped out to a 17.5-1.5 lead en route to winning the South Texas Showdown, presented by Navy Army Community Credit Union.

Sophomore Quinton Johnson II led the Vaqueros with 20 points on career-high 8-of-17 shooting with seven rebounds and two steals. Junior LaQuan Butler scored a career-high tying 17 points while hitting a career-high tying trio of three-pointers.

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Perry Francois led the Islanders with 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Myles Smith scored 10 points with four assists. Jalen White scored eight points with nine rebounds. Rasheed Browne scored eight points with four rebounds.

Johnson made a pair of early baskets to help the Vaqueros go up 4-2. The Islanders, however made eight of their next 12 shots to go on a 21-7 run and take a 23-11 lead.

The Islanders led 25-13 when Butler hit a straight-away three from beyond NBA range, his first of three-straight baskets to spark a 20-5 run that saw the Vaqueros take a 33-30 lead.

The Vaqueros opened the second half on an 8-2 run powered by three-pointers by Butler and senior Chris Freeman to take a 43-36 lead.

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Then, with the Vaqueros up 49-42, the Islanders scored five-straight points before a Butler three sparked an 8-0 run to give the Vaqueros a 57-47 lead.

The Islanders scored the next six points to climb to within four. The Vaqueros pushed their lead to seven on a Butler jumper with 4:42 remaining, but the Islanders scored the next six points to pull within 63-62 with 1:17 left.

Junior Sean Rhea made a layup with 20 seconds left to push the lead to three. Francois responded with a jumper six seconds later, but junior Ricky “Doc” Nelson and Johnson combined to make three free throws to end the game.

UTRGV is back in action on Monday at 6 p.m. against Texas A&M International at the UTRGV Fieldhouse. Fans will not be admitted to this game. Fans can watch for free online at WACDigitalNetwork.com.

The next event in the South Texas Showdown, presented by Navy Army Community Credit Union, is scheduled for Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. when the women’s soccer team will visit Corpus Christi.

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