The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) men’s basketball team cruised to an 86-67 victory in their second matchup with Champion Christian College at the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center Friday night. The Buccaneers are now even at 2-2 on the season and are on a two-game winning streak.
Unlike Wednesday night’s matchup which ended with an overtime buzzer beater by Jalen Monroe, the Buccaneers controlled this game. UVI trailed 11-8 briefly in the first half but it was all Buccaneers after that. After taking a 15-14 lead, the Buccaneers never looked back. The team entered halftime lead 35-33.
In the second half, the Buccaneers established their dominance going on a 12-3 run giving them a 15-point lead midway through the second period. UVI dominated the painted area, scoring 40 points down low in comparison to only 20 points in the paint from the opposition.
The Buccaneers put the game out of reach as they went up 82-59 with under four minutes left in the ball game.
Their second-half success was attributed to good shooting from the field and behind
the arc as they shot 54.3% and 33.3%, respectively. They limited the mistakes offensively
as well, only committing two turnovers in the final period.
“It was exciting basketball. We took a huge step forward as a team, everyone is buying in, understanding, and playing their role ” said head coach Shannon Taylor. “We played a complete game, we didn’t get comfortable and were able to build on a lead, which is something we’ve been working on.”
Preseason All-GCAC player Naythan Shaw-Clarke returned to form with a 23-point, 12 rebound effort on 64.3% shooting from the field. Shaw-Clarke scored 15 of his points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field during the team’s second half run.
Junior forward Nasir Watson was efficient making six of his seven field goal attempts. He
contributed 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.
The UVI Men’s Basketball team will travel to Louisiana to take on Southern University at New Orleans(SUNO) and Dillard University on December 9 and 11, respectively. The Bucs will attempt to win their first game away from the Sports and Fitness Center and keep their winning streak going.
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.