BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University battled in-state foe Virginia Tech to the wire but the Hokies outlasted the Rams, 63-61, in overtime Sunday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum. Neither team led by more than four points the entire game.
The Rams fall to 2-1 while Virginia Tech, which avenges a 14-point loss at VCU last year, remains undefeated at 4-0
VCU junior Courtney Hurt posted her third-straight double-double with a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Jacqueline Brewer scored 14 points, while junior Jennifer Lane finished with 11 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Virginia Tech was paced by Shanel Harrison's 18 points and seven boards. Porschia Hadley added nine points and six rebounds, and Nikki Davis contributed five points and six assists for the Hokies.
The first half featured a combined 18 turnovers and set the tone for what would be a defensive battle. Virginia Tech took a 6-2 advantage on a put-back by Alyssa Fenyn at the 14:36 mark but VCU answered with a 15-7 run and pulled ahead 17-13 on a free throw by Hurt with 8:04 to go. The Hokies tied the score twice the rest of the half but couldn't regain the lead. Hurt hit a layup as time expired and the Rams took a 23-21 advantage into the locker room.
Virginia Tech took its first lead since the 12:02 mark in the first half when Hadley converted a layup with 15:35 remaining. Fenyn then capped off a 10-2 run with a jumper to put the Hokies on top, 33-29, with 14:37 to go.
The Rams regained the lead on a jumper by Hurt less than three minutes later but Virginia Tech's Taylor Ayers put the Hokies back in front with a layup on the ensuing possession. VCU tied the score five times over the next 13 minutes but couldn't pull ahead as the Hokies had an answer for each Rams threat.
Harrison put Virginia Tech on top 55-51 following a trey with 45 seconds showing. Then, a put-back by junior Chelsea Snyder, who finished four points and nine rebounds, and a pair of free throws by Hurt knotted the game at 55-55 with 27 seconds to play. Virginia Tech's Monet Tellier missed a jumper as time expired and the Rams held on to force overtime.
A pair of free throws by Hurt gave VCU a 61-59 advantage, its first lead since the 11:47 mark in the second half, with 1:16 left in overtime. Then, three straight free throws by Hadley put the Hokies back on top 62-61 with 49 seconds showing. Niki Davis' free throw gave Virginia Tech a two-point lead with 21.8 ticks left.
With time winding down, Hurt drove to the basket but Hadley blocked her shot and VCU couldn't convert a pair of inbounds passes.
VCU has a 10-day break before it welcomes East Carolina to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Dec. 2. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.