The University of The Virgin Islands (UVI) Lady Buccaneers basketball team will make its return to the court at the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) 2024 Hope Credit Union Men's and Women's Basketball Championship at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The event is an annual single-elimination tournament to crown the conference champion. The Lady Buccaneers qualified as the ninth overall seed in the tournament as they finished the season with a 3-17 record overall and a 3-13 mark in GCAC conference play.


The tournament begins on Wednesday, February 28 with four games in the opening round and will conclude on Sunday, March 3 with the championship in the men’s and women's brackets. For the Lady Bucs to accomplish their championship goal, they will have to win four straight games, while upsetting some teams along the way.


“We know we have to bring our A-game because it's win or go home, but I think we have built some confidence coming into the tournament after getting a big win against our upcoming opponent in the last matchup,” said head coach Shannon Taylor.


The first matchup for the Lady Buccaneers will be taking on the eight-seeded Lady Bulldogs of Tougaloo College. The teams faced off two times already this year with both games yielding different results. In the first matchup, the Lady Bulldogs got the best of the Lady Buccaneers in a 76-48 defeat on the road at the Tougaloo College Gymnasium in Tougaloo, Mississippi. The Lady Buccaneers were able to avenge that loss in the rematch as they took down the Lady Bulldogs in a 77-57 victory in their season finale at the Elridge Blake Sports and Fitness Center in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.The Lady Buccaneers enter the tournament averaging 50 points per game and will look for their guards to lead the way for them offensively. Graduate guard Brea Patterson will control the pace and tempo of the Lady Bucs as she provides leadership and experience for her team. The Lady Bucs' leading scorer freshman guard Ashukamayah Phillips is coming off the best performance of her young career. Phillips erupted for a career-high 31 points on 50% shooting from the field the last time she faced Tougaloo. The 5-foot-7 guard from St. Thomas is the leading scorer for the Buccaneers as she averages 13.6 points per game on 30.3 % shooting from the field.


On the defensive end of the floor, junior forward Kashay Bass will lead the charge as the Lady Buccaneers attempt to slow down the Lady Bulldogs offense that averages 62.9 points per game. The 5-foot-11 rim protector controlled the painted area as she averaged 1.6 blocks per contest, tied for first in the conference. Bass’ best defensive performance came early in the season versus Fisk University where she tallied six blocks on the evening.


The Lady Buccaneers' game against Tougaloo College will tip-off at 7 p.m. AST on Wednesday, February 28. All tournament games can be streamed via the “GCAC Channel” on HBCU+.


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