A short-handed University of the Virgin Islands’ women’s basketball team pushed nationally-ranked Bryant and Stratton College-Buffalo to the wire before falling 81-76 on Thursday in its opening game at the Beach Bash Classic tournament in Hialeah, Fla.

Jadyn Rice scored a career-high 40 points and Allana Hurst added 16 points for the Lady Buccaneers (2-15), who overcame an 11-point deficit in the third quarter despite only dressing out six players.

— Contact Sports Editor Bill Kiser at 340-714-9117, or email bkiser@dailynews.vi.