UTRGV Men’s Basketball wins WAC home opener

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Texas Border Business

RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros men’s basketball team won its Western Athletic Conference (WAC) home opener 76-64 over the Kansas City Roos on Thursday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.

Junior Javon Levi led the Vaqueros (5-10, 1-1 WAC) by posting his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 assists. Senior Lesley Varner II scored a game-high tying 17 points with nine rebounds. Graduate student Jordan Jackson also scored 17 points with three steals and one block.

Jahshire Hardnett led the Roos (9-8, 2-1 WAC) with 17 points. Josiah Allick finished with 10 points.

The Roos jumped out to a 22-9 over the first 10 minutes. The Vaqueros responded with a 19-5 run that included a highlight reel dunk by Jackson and a three-pointer by Varner to go up 28-27.

The Roos led 36-35 early in the second half before the Vaqueros went on an 11-3 run, capped by a Jackson four-point play, to go up 46-39.

The Roos got as close as two at 56-54 before a layup by junior Rob McClain Jr., a pair of Levi free throws and a Jackson layup put the Vaqueros up 62-54.

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Then, with the lead 64-60 and about three minutes left, Varner and freshman Quinton Johnson II hit back-to-back threes to push the game out of reach.

UTRGV hosts Chicago State on Saturday at 7 p.m. The first 200 fans in attendance will receive tacos, courtesy of UTRGV head coach Lew Hill and the men’s basketball team. Current UTRGV students get free general admission with a valid UTRGV student ID. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at UTRGVTickets.com. Fans purchasing their tickets online prior to game day can save up to $2 per ticket. The party starts at Vaquero Village at 5:30.

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