The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) men’s basketball team extended its win streak in a 66-63 upset of top-ranked Tougaloo College at the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center Saturday night. The Buccaneers were able to avenge their 80-51 loss in their previous match-up on the road in Tougaloo, Mississippi against their Gulf Coast Athletic Conference foe.


UVI (8-14, 6-10) has now won four straight games and five of the last six. Meanwhile, the win snapped Tougaloo’s nine-game winning streak. This marks the second time this season the No. 1-ranked team in the conference has entered the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center and left with a loss at the hands of the Buccaneers.


What a send-off it would turn out to be for three players in their last home game with the team, senior guards Naythan Shaw-Clarke and William Steger, as well as graduate forward Maurice Smith, Jr., all of whom were honored before tip-off in recognition of the Senior Day.


UVI got off to a slow start and was down 22-4 at the midway point in the first half. The Buccaneers would have to go on a series of runs to claw their way back into the game. The first was a 14-5 run that began to cut into the deficit. After trailing by as much as 20 points in the first half, the Buccaneers entered halftime behind by eight points (34-26).

Tougaloo controlled most of the second half similar to the opening period, keeping the Buccaneers at bay in their attempts to close the gap. The Bulldogs seemed poised to have another run-away victory until the Buccaneers came roaring back late in the final period, fueled by the 11 second-half points of Shaw-Clarke. The Buccaneers went on a 15-3 run to bring them back and tie the game. It was a steal and a three-pointer in transition by Steger to tie the game at 60-all.

On the very next possession, the Bulldogs were able to score on a layup and free throw to complete the three-point play. The Buccaneers responded with junior guard Jalil Langston drilling another game-tying basket from behind the arc (63-63) with 2:05 remaining in the game.

After a couple of empty possessions by both teams, junior forward Denny Gonzalez was sent to the free-throw line after being fouled on a shot attempt after grabbing an offensive rebound. Gonzalez sank both free throws giving his team their first lead on the evening (65-63) with 30 seconds left on the clock. On the ensuing possession, the 6-4 forward from St. Thomas delivered yet again with a crucial block on the defensive end.
Shaw-Clarke was sent to the free throw line with five ticks remaining on the game clock and he would sink the first shot which would be the last point recorded on the evening in the win over their conference foe. The 6-3 slasher finished with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists.

For Tougaloo, Keondre Montgomery had 16 points.

Up next, the Buccaneers will head to the GCAC 2024 Hope Credit Union Men's and Women's Basketball Championship in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The tournament will be held from February 28 to March 3. Tournament seedings are to be determined.


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