ST. GEORGE — For the first time this season, both Utah Tech basketball teams won on the same day and moved up in the Western Athletic Conference standings.

Utah Tech’s Tennessee Rainwater squares up for a 3 against UTRGV in a WAC men’s basketball game, St. George, Utah, Feb. 1, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

At Burns Arena on Thursday night, the Utah Tech men snapped a four-game losing skid in convincing fashion after beating the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 81-64.

Tanner Christensen posted his fifth double-double of the year and Tennessee Rainwater scored a career-best 12 points and the Trailblazers never trailed in the blowout over the Vaqueros.

Utah Tech improved to 8-13 overall and 4-6 in WAC play. The Trailblazers are tied with Utah Valley for the eighth-place in the 11-team conference.

The Trailblazers enjoyed a significant size advantage over UTRGV at nearly every position. They parlayed that into a 36-32 lead at halftime, then exploded in a 45-32 second half to pull away from the Vaqueros.

Christensen was in command at both ends of the court, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Aric Demmings scored 12 points, Noa Gonsalves netted 11 and Jaylen Searles contributed 11 points, six rebounds and four assists for the winners.

Rainwater completed Utah Tech’s balanced output with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.

J.J. Howard and C.J. Booker were the leading men for UTRGV as each poured in a game-high 19 points.

Utah Tech continues a four-game homestand in Saturday’s tip-off against UT Arlington in Burns Arena at 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Utah Tech women continued to play well in a 91-55 dismantling of UTRGV in Edinburg, Texas, on Thursday afternoon.

Utah Tech’s Macie Warren, here in a file photo, scored 20 points to lead the Trailblazers in a win over UTRGV, Edinburg, Texas, Feb. 1, 2024 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Utah Tech ended the first quarter on a 12-2 run, taking a commanding 23-16 early lead. The Trailblazers followed that with a 23-7 run to end the second quarter and were in control at halftime, 46-29.

Utah Tech won its third game in a row and improved to 12-9 overall and 6-4 in the WAC, good for a fourth-place tie with UT Arlington.

Four Trailblazers finished with double-digit scoring against the Vaqueros: Macie Warren (20 points), Breaunna Gillen (19 points), Maddie Warren (16 points) and Maggie McCord (15 points).

UTRGV countered with three players who each scored 10 points in the setback: Kade Hackerott, Tierra Trotter and Charlotte O’Keefe.

Utah Tech continues its road trip with a critical conference game Saturday afternoon at UT Arlington at 3:30 p.m. MT.

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