The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) men’s basketball team fell 65-63 to Southern University-New Orleans (SUNO) on Saturday in a thriller that went down to the final buzzer in The Castle at SUNO.  

UVI raced out to a 15-4 lead after tip-off and maintained control of the game for the majority of the first half. The Buccaneers led 27-17 until the Knights returned the favor with their own 15-4 run that allowed them to take their first lead of the game with 1:44 left in the half. At the break, UVI trailed SUNO 38-31. 

The Buccaneers started the second half with a vengeance, going on a 14-8 run to tie the game at 45 on a jump shot by Nasir Watson. On the ensuing possession, Maurice Smith, Jr. came up with a steal and assisted on a two-point basket by Naythan Shaw-Clarke to take the lead with 12:45 left in the game. 

The conference foes battled with several ties and lead changes took place over an eight-minute span. Jalen Monroe delivered the go-ahead basket with 2:48 left in the game to give UVI a 61-60 lead.  

SUNO responded with a three-point field goal, but Monroe again answered the call for the Buccaneers as he tied the game at 63 with another basket at the 2:15 mark. Both teams stepped up defensively and kept the opposition scoreless until a made layup by SUNO in the last seconds of the game. The last-second shot attempt by the Buccaneers was unsuccessful.  

Smith, Jr. led all scorers with 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting from the field and 2-for-3 from behind the arc. The graduate forward added 10 rebounds to record his second double-double of the season. He also was perfect at the free-throw line making all four of his attempts.  

Shaw-Clarke and Jalil Langston also scored in double digits for UVI with 15 and 12 points, respectively.  

Jamal Gibson led the way for SUNO (1-12, 1-2 GCAC) with 21 points. 

The Buccaneers (2-3, 0-1 GCAC) continue their road trip with another conference matchup at Dillard University on Monday, December 11 at 9:30 p.m. AST. The game will be broadcast live on channel 120 via the HBCU+ app. 

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