Graduate forward Maurice Smith, Jr. posted a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds, both game highs, to lead the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Buccaneers men’s basketball to and 82-68 exhibition game win over the VI Elite Pros on Saturday night at the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center.
The exhibition matchup took place as the final game on night two of the annual Paradise Jam basketball tournament. It was the second meeting between the two teams. In the first matchup, the Buccaneers outlasted their opponents 88-82.
The Buccaneers fell behind early in the game after a slow start. The team trailed by as many as 18 points and entered halftime down 48-34. However, the Bucs were able to erase the deficit midway through the second period. The team capitalized on a strong second-half performance, outscoring their opponents 48-20 to close out the game.
Naythan Shaw-Clarke and Jalil Langston joined Smith, Jr. as the other Buccaneers in double digits, contributing 16 apiece.
Offensively, UVI shot an astounding 50% from the field and 50% from three-point territory. On the defensive end, the Buccaneers played their best basketball when it mattered most. In the second half, they held their opponents to just 23% shooting from the field and 12% from 3-point range.
For the V.I. Elite Pros, Jahmai Jones led the way with 13 points.
The Buccaneers return to action on Wednesday, November 29 as they take on Champion Christian at 8 p.m. at the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center as they look to remain unbeaten at home
About UVI Athletics
The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and, as of July 1, 2023, competes in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Entering the 2023-24 season, the Buccaneers will begin their 17th season of athletic competition. As the only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the Caribbean, UVI currently sponsors six sports, including men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field.
For more information on UVI Athletics, visit UVIAthletics.com