After the majority of their games being on the road to open the 2016-17 season, the UT-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros were back in Edinburg, TX for a three-game homestand.
Convincing wins over the Texas State Bobcats and the North Florida Ospreys kicked off the homestand. Those wins pushed the Vaqueros’ home record to 4-1 on the year.
On Friday night, the Lamar Cardinals made the trip to Edinburg for a date with UTRGV. In their last outing, the Cardinals put an end to their three game losing streak with a 51-point win over Austin College.
The first half of Friday’s game was close, as the teams were deadlocked at 38-all after the first half. Early in the second half, the Vaqueros took control of the game, and rolled to the 95-81 victory over the Cardinals when all was said and done.
Over the first five minutes of the second half, the Cardinals and Vaqueros were neck-and-neck. Neither team managed to take a lead larger than two points over that stretch.
With 15:07 to play in the game, Xavier McDaniel, Jr. connected on a three pointer for the Vaqueros, tying the game up at 50-all.
From there, the home side was in complete control of the contest.
The three pointer from McDaniel, Jr. kicked off a 24-5 run for the Vaqueros, a run that stretch over six minutes. When all was said and done, UTRGV held a 71-55 lead over the Cardinals.
Joey Frenchwood and Nick Garth each made baskets for the Cardinals, bookending a three pointer from Antonio Green for the Vaqueros, and Zjori Bosha came up with back-to-back steals on defense to try and build some positive momentum for Lamar.
It didn’t quite work out.
Credit Lamar for continuing to fight after the momentum was completely taken over by the home side. They managed to trim the lead down to 12 points with just over three minutes to play in the game, but that was as close as they would come after the Vaqueros’ lengthy run.
The UT-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros would complete their homestand with a perfect 3-0 record, thanks to their 95-81 win over Lamar on Friday night.
A total of six players scored in double figures for the home squad in the win. Antonio Green continued his impressive week, recording a team-high 16 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Lesley Varner, Jr. and Xavier McDaniel, Jr. both came off the bench and added 15 points apiece.
Nick Dixon chipped in with 12 points and 8 assists in the victory.
Not to be outdone, Lamar had five players score in double figures in a losing effort. Junior forward Colton Weisbrod continued his strong play to start the season, recording 14 points and 14 rebounds for another double-double performance. Fellow junior Joey Frenchwood added 14 points, but was just 1-of-6 from three point range.
Zjori Bosha scored a game-high 21 points off the bench.
The win was the third straight at home for the UT-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros (5-8, 0-0), all of which came over high-quality opponents. They will look to continue their winning ways when they head back on the road to take on the Houston Cougars on Saturday.
With the loss, the Lamar Cardinals (5-5, 0-0) have now lost four of their past five outings, with all four of those losses coming away from home. They will look to get back to their winning ways when they take on the Liberty Flames in Beaumont, TX on Monday.
– T. Bennett