RADFORD, Va. – Junior forward Courtney Hurt (pictured, left) and redshirt-sophomore Sonia Johnson each contributed a game-high 16 points and Virginia Commonwealth University cruised to a 79-49 victory against Radford in its non-conference finale on Thursday evening at Dedmon Center.
VCU picks up its second victory in three games and improves to 5-5 on the season, while Radford dropped its fourth-straight and slips to 3-9.
Hurt added 11 rebounds and posted her 10th-straight double-double despite playing a season-low 21 minutes after picking up a pair of fouls midway through the first half. Johnson collected eight rebounds and scored in double-figures for the fourth game in a row, while junior Andrea Barbour (pictured, left), who sat out the first semester after transferring from Patrick Henry Community College, added 10 points and six boards in her Rams debut.
VCU jumped out to a 15-8 advantage on a pair of free throws by Hurt at the 11:14 mark in the first half. Brooke McElroy then pulled Radford within 17-13 following a jumper less than two minutes later but VCU used an 18-7 spurt and took its largest lead of the period at 35-20 on a free throw by sophomore Daphne Adebayo with 1:13 to go.
Da'Naria Erwin Spencer hit a jumper with 42 seconds showing and Ashley Buckhannon nailed a triple as time expired to pull Radford within 37-25 at the break.
Denay Wood scored two quick baskets less than a minute into the second half and the Highlanders cut the VCU lead to 39-29. However, a 3-pointer by senior Jessica Taylor on the following possession ignited a 25-2 run, including a nine-minute stretch where the Rams held Radford to just a pair of free throws, and VCU took a 67-33 lead on a trey by Johnson with 9:02 remaining.
VCU led by at least 30 points the rest of the way.
The Rams held a commanding 49-28 advantage on the glass and shot 45.6 percent (26 of 57) from the field, including 6 of 12 from long range.
VCU now enjoys a nine-day break before opening Colonial Athletic Association play at William & Mary on Jan. 2. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m., from Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, Va.