After losing the first six games of the season, the University of the Virgin Islands’ men’s basketball team can finally put a “W” on its record.
However, it nearly became another “L,” as the Buccaneers had to hold off a second-half Bulldogs rally for a 84-71 victory Thursday night in Wilberforce, Ohio.
Five players finished in double figures for UVI (1-6) in snapping its losing streak, with double-doubles from LiWayne Richardson and Will Boyd, the Bucs’ 6-foot-10 post players.
Richardson had a game-high 20 points and 17 rebounds, and Boyd grabbed a game-high 21 rebounds to go with 12 points. Jamal Norris added 16 points, and Jamari Williams and St. Thomas’ Denny Gonzalez had 10 apiece for UVI.
Kyle Cardenas and Justin Kearney had 17 points each for Wilberforce (3-7), which has now lost three straight.
LiWayne Richardson, University of the Virgin Islands: The Anguilla native and Howard University transfer had a career night for the Buccaneers. He made 8 of 10 from the field and 4 of 8 free throws, and also blocked four shots.
Justin Kearney, Wilberforce University: One of the Bulldogs’ outside threats, he made 5 of 12 3-pointers — and missed his only 2-point attempt. He also made 2 of 3 free throws.
• The Buccaneers had their best shooting night of the season, making 51.7% from the field (31 of 60) — but only made 4 of 14 3-pointers. UVI also had an above-average game at the free throw line, making 18 of 29.
• Even with some extra opportunities due to 18 Bucs turnovers, Wilberforce couldn’t take advantage due to its 32.9% shooting (24 of 73, including 14 of 40 on 3-pointers) from the field, and only going 9 for 21 on free throws.
• Behind Boyd and Richardson, UVI pulled down a season-best 61 rebounds, while limiting the Bulldogs to 31 boards.
The Buccaneers have a rematch against the Bulldogs tonight. Game time is 8 p.m. Atlantic.