ACU (9-8, 1-3) was handed their second consecutive loss on Wednesday from a dominating offensive performance put on by the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros (9-8,1-4), who gained their first win in conference play, 103-86.
The defeat at the Fieldhouse in Edinburg, TX, became the Wildcats third conference loss this season. Fueled by UTRGV senior guard Justin Johnson’s 25 point outing, the Vaqueros shot 67 percent from the field and could never lose their rhythm. Meanwhile, ACU finished the game shooting 40 percent from the field and 26 percent from the 3-point line.
UTRGV also became the first team since Colorado State University to score at least 100 points against ACU since the 2015-16 season. Even though the Wildcats forced 26 turnovers, it was not enough to spoil the Vaqueros eighth home-win of the season.
The Vaqueros came out the gates early with a 14-2 run, and gained the momentum to keep the Wildcats at bay with a 51-37 lead heading into halftime.
Four players fouled out for ACU, including redshirt senior guard Immanuel Allen, who achieved a new career-high in scoring with 26 points, making him the first Wildcat this season to score more than 20 points.
Allen’s prolific scoring, combined with graduate guard Tobias Cameron’s all-around effort, which included 12 points, five rebounds and five assists, helped the Wildcats go on a 12-0 run to be down by nine with four minutes left to play, but the Vaqueros rebounding and mismatch hunting helped seal the victory.
For their next matchup, ACU squares off against Tarleton State University for their second and final meeting of the season. In their first matchup of the season on Dec. 31, the Wildcats took home a narrow 69-63 home win against the Texans, giving ACU its first and only win of conference play so far this season.
The Wildcats continue their roadtrip against the Texans on on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Stephenville inside Wisdom Gym, where the game will be streaming live on ESPN+ and the ACU Sports Network.
Quotes will be added following head coach Brette Tanner’s press conference Monday morning.