EDINBURG – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) men’s basketball team beat Wayland Baptist University (WBU) 85-66 on Tuesday at the UTRGV Fieldhouse to improve to 16-13, the team’s winningest season since 2013-13 (16-16).
UTRGV is now 10-7 at home, the team’s highest home win total since 2012-13 (11-2).
Graduate student Tyson Smith led UTRGV with 13 points, a career-high tying five assists, a career-high five steals, and one block. Senior Terry Winn III scored a team-high 14 points. Junior Jordan Jackson scored 13 points while hitting a pair of threes. Sophomore Greg Bowie II finished with 11 points while hitting three three-pointers. Junior Lesley Varner II scored eight points with seven rebounds. Graduate student Solomon Hainna scored eight points with four rebounds. Sophomore Javon Levi scored eight points with four assists and four steals.
Levi increases his NCAA-leading steals total to 88, which is also the fourth-highest single-season total in program history.
Tre Fillmore led WBU with 15 points. J.J. Culver finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
After Trevonta Robetson gave WBU the lead on the opening possession of the game, a three and a dunk by Jackson sparked a 21-7 run, culminating in a 21-9 lead. During the run, UTRGV went 9-for-16 (56.3 percent) from the field while forcing seven turnovers.
Then, with the score 24-15, senior Ndene Gueye made back-to-back baskets to kick-off a 17-4 run that saw UTRGV take its largest lead of the half at 41-19.
WBU closed the half on a 9-2 run to pull within 43-28, but Smith hit two free throws, a jumper and a three as part of a 12-0 run to open the second half, pushing the game out of reach.
UTRGV opens up a three-game road trip on Saturday at 5 p.m. at WAC-leading New Mexico State.