VCU FALLS AT CROSS-TOWN RIVAL RICHMOND, 68-53

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University junior forward Courtney Hurt posted her fifth-straight double-double with a game-high 24 points and a career-best 15 rebounds but the Rams couldn't overcome a big second half by Richmond and fell to the Spiders, 68-53, Sunday afternoon at the Robins Center.

VCU drops its third straight and slips to 2-3 on the season, while Richmond improves to 5-4.

Freshman Jacqueline Brewer added seven points, while junior Chelsea Snyder finished with six points and five rebounds for VCU.  Senior Jennifer Lane added a team-high four assists.

The Spiders had three players score in double figures led by Abby Oliver's team-high 22 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc, and eight rebounds.  Crystal Goring added 14 points, while Brittani Shells contributed 13 points. 

Both squads traded baskets through the first eight minutes of the contest as senior Jessica Taylor gave VCU a 12-11 advantage following a fast break layup with 12:05 showing.  However, Richmond responded with a 13-4 spurt spanning seven minutes to go ahead 24-16.

VCU didn't back down as the Rams reeled off eight of the next nine points and pulled within 25-24 on a free throw by Hurt with 11.8 seconds showing.  Richmond's Kara Powell hit a jumper with two seconds left and gave the Spiders a three-point lead at the break.

Richmond hit just 1-of-10 from 3-point range during the first half while VCU connected on 2-of-6.

The Spiders came out of the locker room on fire hitting 10 of their first 16 from the field and quickly built a 37-27 advantage with 16:35 remaining.  Shells led the charge, scoring six of the Spiders' 10 points during the stretch.

VCU pulled within 37-31 on a jumper by Hurt at the 15:31 mark but it was as close as the Rams would get the rest of the way.  Richmond's scoring surge continued and the Spiders used a 22-2 run spanning seven minutes, which included four 3-pointers, and took a 59-35 advantage with 8:23 showing. 

The Rams halted the Spiders' spurt and Hurt took over on the offensive end, scoring 11-straight points to pull VCU within 15 with 5:33 showing.

Down by 19 with two minutes to go, the Black & Gold scored seven points in a 20-second stretch and Hurt cut the Richmond lead to 68-57 on a layup with 1:14 left.

VCU shot a season-low 30.3 percent, while Richmond connected at a 44.4 percent clip from the field.

The Rams continue their three-game road swing on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at Coppin State.  Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.  The Rams then travel to Charlotte for a 1 p.m. matchup against the 49ers on Dec. 11.

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