After making it to the semifinals Friday, USVI’s women narrowly lost in the final round to Jamaica during the Caribbean Basketball Conference championships in Tortola.
Friday’s game was the USVI’s last bid for the gold medal; now, with one game left to go, they will look to take home the bronze, while Jamaica eyes the gold.
According to online news reports, USVI put its greatest effort into Friday’s game, using speed and pressure on Jamaica’s bigger and more aggressive team. USVI got on the board early, scoring the game’s first basket, and was able to knot the score at 14 going into the second quarter.
Adding one free-throw to start the second quarter, USVI then went on a 5-0 run behind Victoria Hamilton, Akeema Richards and Natalie Day to bump the team’s score up to 19. The team was able to maintain their lead going into half, 24-19, and even pushed through the third behind a series of three-pointers from Day that gave USVI the 35-27 lead.
In the fourth quarter, however, USVI fell apart. After a Sasha Dixon three-pointer cut the lead, to 40-32, missed shots at the free-throw line and critical turnovers allowed Jamaica to move outside and start banking shots. Shenneika Smith was able to score 14 of the 18 points that put Jamaica ahead, 47-46, with just over a minute left, and Jennifer George was able to drop in 17 points that helped her team clinch the 49-46 win.