Due to the frequency of transfers coming and going from the WAC, there aren’t many 1,000-point scorers. Well, UTRGV senior forward Lesley Varner II eclipsed that mark on Thursday, helping the Vaqueros earn their first road win of the season. Varner II had a game-high 23 points and UTRGV earned a season-sweep over Kansas City with a 73-60 win at the Swinney Center.
The UTRGV win was part of a WAC hoops triple-header to tip off the second half of conference play. And it was a statement win for the Vaqueros. Coming into Thursday, UTRGV was 0-9 in true road games. The Vaqueros were also 0-2 in neutral site games.
But, Thursday night was a different story. UTRGV shot 57 percent from the floor in the first half to take a 33-22 lead into halftime. And while Kansas City played better in the second half, the deficit was just too much to overcome. It also doesn’t help the Roos’ cause that UTRGV was 21-27 from the free throw line in the second half.
Varner’s 23 points increases his career total to 1,007. And there is still a lot of basketball to play. Varner II is averaging 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Jordan Jackson was also in double figures for the Vaqueros with 16 points including another impressive dunk.
UTRGV improves to 8-14 overall and 4-5 in WAC play. Kansas City fell to 12-12 overall and 4-5 in WAC play.
New Mexico State All Business in Win at Chicago State
27 wins and counting. New Mexico State used a balanced effort to dominate Chicago State on Thursday night at the Jones Convocation Center. The 71-49 win is the 27th straight conference win and 12th straight win overall for the Aggies. Evan Gilyard had 12 points in his return to his hometown. Jabari Rice had 12 points and Shawn Williams had a team-high 15 points in the win.
It’s worth noting that New Mexico State big men Ivan Aurrecoechea and Johnny McCants combined for just six points in the win. That’s how good New Mexico State is and perhaps how bad Chicago State is.
The Aggies improve to 18-6 overall and 9-0 in WAC play. Chicago State fell to 4-20 overall and 0-9 in WAC play.
Big Second Half Propels Lancers to Season Sweep of Roadrunners
In the first half of Thursday night’s Battle of California, CBU guard Milan Acquaah was 2-10 from the floor and had just six points. Teammate Ferron Flavors Jr. had just eight points at the break, as well.
It’s amazing was that break can do for a player. Acquaah and Flavors Jr. combined to score 24 second half points to help CBU pull away from in-state foe CSU Bakersfield in a 74-69 win at the CBU Events Center. Flavors Jr. finished with a team-high 21 points while Acquaah finished with 17 points. Reigning WAC Player of the Week De’jon Davis finished with a 13-point, 10-rebound double double.
Cam Allen had a game-high 22 points while Shawn Stith and Taze Moore were both in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
There were 15 lead changes and seven ties on Thursday night in Riverside. Neither team was able to pull away. With the game tied at 66 with 2:22 to play, Flavors Jr. hit a 3-pointer to give the Lancers the lead for good. Acquaah and Kul Buol went 3-4 from the charity stripe down the stretch to seal the win for the Lancers.
CBU improves to 17-6 overall and 7-2 in WAC play. CSU Bakersfield falls to 10-14 overall and 4-5 in WAC play. CBU and New Mexico State are the only teams with a winning record in the WAC at this time.