UTRGV men’s basketball to host Battle on the Beach

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley department of intercollegiate athletics announced Thursday that it will host the inaugural UTRGV South Padre Island Battle on the Beach, featuring men’s basketball games between UTRGV and Northern Arizona as well as Texas Tech and Incarnate Word on Nov. 20 at the SPI Convention Centre.

UTRGV will face Northern Arizona at 2 p.m. Texas Tech plays Incarnate Word at 5 p.m.

This is the first time UTRGV men’s basketball has played on South Padre Island since Nov. 27-28, 2009, playing against Chattanooga and Bethune-Cookman as part of the South Padre Island Invitational. UTRGV also took part in the inaugural tournament in 2005, playing Texas Southern and Kent State.

The addition of the UTRGV South Padre Island Battle of the Beach gives UTRGV two annual basketball events at the SPI Convention Centre, along with women’s basketball’s UTRGV South Padre Island Classic.

“We are excited to be able to bring both UTRGV basketball teams to Cameron County for what we plan to be annual events on South Padre Island,” UTRGV vice president and director of athletics Chasse Conque said. “In our first year for this event, we’ve already attracted a top tier team in Texas Tech to participate. I think this speaks well to the future of our South Padre Island basketball events and we look forward to continuing to be active in Cameron County so we can #RallyTheValley behind UTRGV Athletics.”

Conque has placed an emphasis on bringing UTRGV Athletics to the entire Rio Grande Valley, forming a partnership with the City of Brownsville to bring more events, including competitions, camps and clinics to Brownsville.

“We’re inviting everyone to please join us and make this a successful event,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. said. “We’re excited about the continued partnership and future between Cameron County and UTRGV Athletics.”

This is Texas Tech men’s basketball’s first visit to SPI since Nov. 26-27, 2010, when the Red Raiders faced Saint Mary’s and South Florida in the SPI Invitational.

This is the third time that Texas Tech has visited the Rio Grande Valley, along with a game at what was then known as the UTPA Fieldhouse on Nov. 30, 1991.

Texas Tech is coming off an 18-11 season that ended with a trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

This will be the fifth matchup between UTRGV and Northern Arizona and the first since Dec. 8, 2010. This is Northern Arizona’s first trip to South Padre Island and third trip to the Valley. The two previous games in the Valley were right, as they were each decided by five points.

This is Incarnate Word’s first visit to SPI and just its second visit to the Valley after previously visiting the fieldhouse on Nov. 10, 2006.

On Tuesday, UTRGV announced the women’s basketball team’s second annual UTRGV South Padre Island Classic, a four-game tournament featuring UTRGV, the University of Texas-San Antonio, Liberty and Grand Canyon on Dec. 17-18 at the SPI Convention Centre.

UTRGV will face UTSA at 6 p.m. Dec. 17 and Liberty at 1 p.m. Dec. 18. Grand Canyon will face Liberty at 3 p.m. Dec. 17 and UTSA at 4 p.m. Dec. 18.

UTSA enters the season under the direction of new coach Karen Aston, who previously coached at Texas and was one of four finalists for the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year award in 2017 and one of 10 semifinalists for the honor in 2018. Aston also earned Big 12 coach of the year accolades in 2017.

Liberty is coming off a 19-8 season and a runner-up finish at the Atlantic Sun Tournament.

Grand Canyon is coming off an 18-7 season and a runner-up finish at the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.

Fans looking to guarantee their seats for the events can purchase season tickets. Single-day passes will go on sale closer to the event should inventory be available once all season-ticket holders are given seating equivalent to their tickets for games at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.

Season tickets can be purchased online at UTRGVTickets.com or by contacting Seth Jones (956-665-3877) and Carlos Munoz (956-665-3747) of the UTRGV athletics ticket office or via email at [email protected] UTRGV faculty and staff can take advantage of a 20 percent discount by returning a form to Jones or Munoz.

Reserved season tickets in Sections B, C and G of the UTRGV Fieldhouse cost $275 each. A limited number of courtside seats are available for $350 plus a $150 donation to the V Club per seat. General admission season tickets can be purchased for $150 each or as a family four pack for $400. Family four packs can be purchased as reserved seats in Sections A and H for $750 each. Winter Texans looking to purchase reserved season tickets in Sections A and H can do so for $200 each.

Equivalent seating will be arranged for games at Bert Ogden Arena as well.

Additionally, fans can choose to purchase multi-sport passes that include season tickets to volleyball, basketball, and baseball for $260 for general admission and starting at $360 for reserved seating.