March 26, 2010

VCU CAN’T OVERCOME SECOND HALF DROUGHT, FALLS AT SYRACUSE 74-59

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Senior forward D'Andra Moss led all scorers with 31 points and 12 rebounds but Virginia Commonwealth University couldn't overcome a second half scoring drought and fell 74-59 against Syracuse University in the third round of the Postseason WNIT.

Syracuse held VCU without a field goal over the final nine minutes of play and closed the game on an 18-4 run to seal the win.

VCU, which posted its third straight 20-win season, finishes the year 22-13, while Syracuse improves to 25-10 and advances to the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Sophomore forward Courtney Hurt contributed 12 points, five rebounds and two blocks for VCU, while senior guard Kita Waller added 11 points and a game-high six assists.

Syracuse had four players in double figures led by Kayla Alexander's 19 points.  Nicole Michael scored 18 and hauled in 11 rebounds and Juanita Ward chipped in 12 with 10 boards.

Neither team led by more than four points in the first half as the opening period featured five ties and 15 lead changes. 

VCU took its largest lead of the half following a 3-pointer by Moss at the 17:58 mark, which gave the Rams an early 7-3 advantage.  Alexander would put Syracuse on top by four twice during a two-minute stretch midway through the half where she scored six of eight points for the Orange.

The Rams would regain the lead and held a 39-37 advantage at the break.

Moss scored 10 of the first 14 points for VCU in the second half and Hurt gave the Rams their largest lead of the game at 53-48 following a pair of free throws with 9:27 to go.

The Orange stormed back and regained the lead on a jumper by Ward with 6:02 remaining and never looked back. 

Syracuse held a 53-32 rebounding margin with 18 of its 24 offensive rebounds coming in the second half. 

Friday's game was the farthest VCU had ever advanced in postseason play.  The Rams fell in the second round of the 2008 WNIT and dropped a first round decision in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.

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