UTRGV falls to NMSU in WAC tournament

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LAS VEGAS KVEO The sixth-seeded UTRGV Vaqueros mens basketball team fell to the third-seeded New Mexico State Aggies 77-61 in the Western Athletic Conference WAC Tournament Quarterfinals on Thursday at Orleans Arena. . . Graduate student Jeff Otchere led the Vaqueros with a career-high 15 points on a career-best 6-of-6 shooting and two blocks. Senior Javon Levi scored 12 points with four rebounds, six assists and two steals. Junior LaQuan Butler scored nine points. Senior Anthony Bratton and junior Ricky Doc Nelson each finished with seven points. . . After four seasons with the Vaqueros, Levi ranks as the programs all-time leader in steals 244 while ranking fourth in assists 599. He also ranks sixth in WAC history in steals and tied for fifth in assists. . The Vaqueros got off to a good start, going up 2-0 on an Otchere dunk and 4-3 on a jumper by junior Marek Nelson. . . The Aggies scored the next nine points before sophomore Quinton Johnson II made a jumper and then Butler came up with a steal before hitting a layup to make the score 12-8. . . The Aggies responded by scoring the next eight points as part of a 14-2 run to go up 26-10. . . The Aggies led by as much as 17 in the first half, going up 32-15 with 5. 09 remaining. The Vaqueros answered with a 9-0 run, capped by a Levi layup off a turnover to make the score 32-24, but the Aggies closed the half on a 7-0 run and then scored the first five points of the second half to take a 44-24 lead. . . The Vaqueros pulled to within 58-41 on a pair of Otchere dunks midway through the second half. . . The Aggies responded with an 8-0 run to take their largest lead at 66-41. The Vaqueros followed with a 16-7 run to make the score 73-57, but thats as close as they got.

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