Utah Tech Finishes WAC’tastic’ Comeback Over Texas Rio Grande Valley

Mar 7, 2024, 7:43 PM | Updated: 7:45 pm

Utah Tech Trailblazers UT Arlington Mavericks College Basketball...

(Photo courtesy of Utah Tech Athletics)

(Photo courtesy of Utah Tech Athletics)

ST. GEORGE, Utah – The Utah Tech Trailblazers kept their WAC postseason hopes alive with a thrilling 79-74 comeback road win over UTGRV.

Utah Tech (11-19, 7-12) faced the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley Vaqueros (6-24, 2-17) on Thursday, March 7.

Beon Riley led the Trailblazers with 22 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and some late free throws to seal the comeback. Tanner Christensen added 19 points, Noa Gonsalves scored 15, while Tennessee Rainwater finished with  11 points and nine boards.

Elijah Elliott led all scorers with 26 points on 25 shot attempts.

First Half

UTT jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the opening minutes but couldn’t hang on to the advantage. The Vaqueros flipped the script and went on a 15-0 run over the next four minutes to grab a commanding 18-7 lead.

RELATED: Utah Tech Loses To Abilene Christian On Senior Night

Utah Tech struggled to make any headway for the rest of the half, trailing by double figures for most of the opening period. Tanner Christensen led the Trailblazers with nine points, but the turnover bug prevented the team from finding a rhythm. UTT committed 13 TOs in the half, five of which came from Christensen.

Utah Tech shot a respectable 48.1 percent from the field while allowing the Vaqueros to hit 60 percent (18-30) and 44.4 percent (4-9) from deep.

UTGRV led 45-35 at the break.

Second Half

The Trailblazer’s turnover woes continued in the second half as UTRGV expanded the lead to 12.

Trailing 61-49, UTT went on an 11-4 run to trail 64-60 with 8:30 left. The run continued out of a timeout, with the Noa Gonsalves hitting a three with 4:38 left to give his team a 67-65 lead. It was their first lead since 7-5 with 15:17 left in the first half.

Utah Tech made eight of ten shots and committed one turnover during the run.

RELATED: Comeback Falls Short As UTT Drops To Tarleton State

Minutes later, Beon Riley’s second three extended the lead to 74-67 with 56 seconds to play. UTGRV only needed 37 seconds to reel off a 7-1 run. Leading by one with 19 seconds left, Riley went to the free throw line and hit two clutch free throws to give his team a 77-74 lead with nine seconds left.

The Trailblazers held on for the 79-74 win.

Following Utah Tech With KSL Sports Zone

The Trailblazers close the regular season on Saturday, March 9, when they take on the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. MT. Utah Tech is 2-2 all-time against the Lumberjacks after winning 75-70 at home earlier this season.

KSL Sports coverage of Utah Tech can be found here.

Take us with you wherever you go.

Download the new and improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. It lets you stream live radio and video and stay current on all your favorite teams.

Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies, Locals in MLB, and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s Bees, Beehive baseball, and Aggie athletics coverage here.

Utah Tech Trailblazers

BYU Baseball - Miller Park...

Brian Preece

Locals In MiLB: 28 Beehive Locals Join Minor League Teams For 2024

From Cache to Washington Counties and everywhere between, 28 local athletes litter minor-league baseball rosters at the pro level.

9 days ago

former ute oliver dunn...

Brian Preece

Locals In MLB: Former Ute Leading Trio Of Locals In Big Leagues

Opening Day is in the rearview and a long season of Major League Baseball is underway as 30 teams chase an elusive World Series championship. 

11 days ago

tanner banks 2023...

Brian Preece

Locals In MLB: Spring Training Dog Days Settle In As Locals Fight For Roster Spots

C.J. Cron is in camp with the Boston Red Sox while two other former Utah locals were sent to minor league camp.

1 month ago


Brian Preece

Foul Trouble Dooms Utah Tech In Regular Season Finale Loss

The Trailblazers struggled with foul trouble all afternoon as four Utah Tech players fouled out in the 84-71 loss the the Lumberjacks.

1 month ago


Kyle Ireland

Utah Tech Loses To Abilene Christian On Senior Night

The Utah Tech men’s basketball team suffered a loss to the Abilene Christian Wildcats in the Trailblazers' home finale for the 2023-24 season.

2 months ago

Utah Tech Trailblazers Tarleton State Texans College Basketball...

Chandler Holt

Second Half Comeback Falls Short As Utah Tech Drops To Tarleton State

The Utah Tech Trailblazers lost to the Tarleton State Texans, 85-74, after going down by 19 in the first half.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles


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.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

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.


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.

Utah Tech Finishes WAC’tastic’ Comeback Over Texas Rio Grande Valley