July 4, 2002 The U.S. Virgin Islands men's and women's teams both won their games in the Verne R. Callwood Sr. Caribbean Basketball Confederation 16th annual Senior Championships on Wednesday at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center.
Women: USVI 82, D.R. 67
The women's team rebounded from a 32-point defeat at the hands of Puerto Rico and beat the Dominican Republic, 82-67. Then, the men's team topped Antigua-Barbuda, 82-60.
Lynia Liburd took control of the women's game early with three 3-pointers in the first quarter to help her team to a 27-20 lead. The Dominican Republic jumped out to a 10-5 run to start the second quarter. However, the USVI went on a 17-3 run to end the quarter and take a commanding 49-33 lead at halftime.
While the Dominican Republic could not overcome the USVI lead in the second half, the USVI did have a big scare. In the final minutes of the third quarter, Liburd, trying to save a ball from going out of bounds, stepped on the ball and slammed into the bleachers guard rail, injuring her left shoulder. The injury looked bad at first, but Liburd got up on her own and later return to the game in the fourth quarter.
Tajama Abraham led USVI with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Natasha Lettsome added 20 points and 11 rebounds while Liburd had 16 points. Juana Duran led all scorers with 30 points for the Dominican Republic.
Abraham and Lettsome both said that they were embarrassed by the loss to Puerto Rico. Abraham, who did not play in the loss on Tuesday, said she sat out due to an injury but did not give the specifics.
The USVI leads the women's division with a 3-1 record. The Dominican Republic and the Bahamas are 2-1, Puerto Rico is 2-2 and Barbados is 0-4. The top four women's teams will play in the semifinals on Friday and the winners of those games will play for the women's championship game on Saturday.
Men: USVI over Antigua-Barbuda
The lights literally when out on Antigua-Barbuda in its men's game against the USVI team. Antigua-Barbuda got to within three points of the USVI at halftime, but USVI kept the lead and control of the game on its way to the 18-point victory. When the power went out in the fourth quarter, the damage was already done, the USVI led 78-57.
USVI head coach Glen "Kimble" Williams was proud of his teams' performance. However, he noted, "We need to play an entire 40 minutes of consistent basketball." Antigua-Barbuda head coach Kenroy "Bird" James said, "We missed too many free-throws that costed us the game." Antigua-Barbuda shot 52 percent, missing 15 of 31 shots from the free-throw line.
Kevin Sheppard and Cuthbert Victor each had 19 points for the USVI. Victor grabbed 10 rebounds to record a double-double in the game. Mario Davis led Antigua-Barbuda with 14 points.
The USVI's men's team leads Pool B with a 3-0 record. Antigua-Barbuda and Jamaica both are 2-1, the British Virgin Islands is 1-3 and St. Vincent-Grenadines is 0-3. The top two men's teams of each pool will play in a semifinal game on Friday. The championship game between the pool winners will be played on Saturday.
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