COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Isaiah Pope’s 20 Points Leads Trailblazers In Win Over Vaqueros

Dec 29, 2022, 9:14 PM
Isaiah-Pope-Utah-Tech-Trailblazers-Mens-Basketball...
Utah Tech guard Isaiah Pope (Courtesy of Stan Plewe / Utah Tech Athletics)
(Courtesy of Stan Plewe / Utah Tech Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Tech opened up WAC play with a convincing 81-66 win over visiting Texas-Rio Grande Valley in St. George.

Utah Tech (9-5, 1-0) hosted the Texas-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros (8-5, 0-1) at Burns Arena in St. George, UT on Thursday, December 29. This was the Western Athletic Conference opener for each team.

RELATED: Utah Tech Blows Out Lindenwood Behind Isaiah Pope’s Big Game

The Trailblazers ride a season-high five-game winning streak into this matchup after thrashing Lindenwood 95-64.

The Vaqueros have won three straight. Their last win came at the expense of Houston Christian by a 100-90 score.

Isaiah Pope scored 20 points to lead the Trailblazers. Jacob Nicolds added 18 and Tanner Christensen scored 10.

Will Johnston led all scorers with 24 points in the loss.

First Half

The Trailblazers came out of the locker room fast by scoring the games first five points.

UTRGV survived the early run, tying the score at nine apiece on a Justin Johnson layup.

RELATED: Utah Tech Men’s Basketball Torches Westmont For Fourth Straight Win

After a timeout, Utah Tech went on a 9-0 run, opening up their lead to 18-9.

Two baskets from the Vaqueros couldn’t slow the Trailblazers as their lead expanded to double-digits with a 15-4 run when Tanner Christensen hit a layup.

UTRGV used back-to-back Will Johnston threes to get within five but Isaiah Pope responded on the other end with a three of his own.

Later in the half with the Vaqueros within a possession, Cameron Gooden found Noa Gonsalves for a corner three.

The Trailblazers rode the momentum of the Gonsalves three to a 39-31 halftime advantage.

Jacob Nicolds led Utah Tech with 11 points. Gooden chipped in seven points and had five assists in the opening half.

Johnston led the Vaqueros with 10 points.

Second Half

Both teams traded baskets for the opening minutes of the second half as the Trailblazers maintained a lead.

RELATED: Utah Tech Crushes The Masters For Third Straight Win

Nicolds gave Utah Tech their largest lead of the night, 48-35, on a three with 16:24 left.

Later in the half, Frank Staine connected with Trey Edmonds for a lay-in that put the Trailblazers ahead by 16.

The Vaqueros wouldn’t get within less than 12 the rest of the way as Utah Tech cruised to an 81-66 win.

Up Next

The Trailblazers travel north to Orem, UT where they will take on the Utah Valley Wolverines (10-4, 1-0). This gamer will be played at the UCCU Center on Saturday, December 31. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. (MST).

College Basketball

Brigham Young Cougars guard Dallin Hall (30) lays the ball up during a NCAA basketball game at the ...
Matt Baiamonte

BYU Basketball Questions Answered In Win Against LMU

Considering the circumstances of the three game losing streak, the win against LMU goes down as the best win of the season for BYU basketball.
2 days ago
BYU Basketball, LMU, Fousseyni Traore...
Mitch Harper

Instant Takeaways From BYU’s 89-61 Win Over LMU

BYU basketball rolls through LMU to return to 5-5 in West Coast Conference play.
2 days ago
Aziz-Bandaogo-UVU-Mens-Basketball...
Brian Preece

Utah Valley Takes Down Utah Tech Trailblazers, Maintain WAC Lead

Le'Tre Darthard poured in 26 points, leading first-place Utah Valley to a decisive 76-69 road win over Utah Tech.
2 days ago
Lazar-Stefanovic-Dribbles-At-Huntsman-Center...
Michelle Bodkin

Inconsistency On Offense Earns Utah Second-Straight Loss

Inconsistency on offense without their second-leading scorer in Gabe Madsen earned Utah their second straight loss.
2 days ago
Utah-Basketball-Versus-TCU-Holiday-Classic...
Michelle Bodkin

Utah Guard Gabe Madsen Out 4-6 Weeks With Lower Leg Injury

Utah basketball announced guard Gabe Madsen is out for the game and likely to miss 4-6 weeks with a lower leg injury.
2 days ago
Gianna-Kneepkens-Utah...
Michelle Bodkin

Utah Women’s Basketball Players Earning Post-Season Award Buzz

Utah women's basketball is so good in 2023 that two of their players have earned post-season award buzz as the regular season winds down.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
jimmy-buffett-tour-art...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Isaiah Pope’s 20 Points Leads Trailblazers In Win Over Vaqueros