February 10, 2011

VCU SUFFERS 71-51 SETBACK AGAINST JAMES MADISON

RICHMOND, Va. – Juniors Courtney Hurt and Andrea Barbour each posted a double-double but Virginia Commonwealth University couldn't overcome an 18-point halftime deficit and fell to James Madison University, 71-51, Thursday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

VCU falls for the second time in its last three outings and slips to 13-9 overall, 8-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association.  First-place James Madison, which has won nine in a row and 13 of its last 14 games, improves to 18-6, 11-1 in CAA play.

Barbour posted her first career double-double, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Rams.  Hurt, who tied VCU's single season record with her NCAA leading 18th double-double, contributed 20 points, including 12 of 17 from the charity stripe, and 11 rebounds. 

The Rams, who entered the game shooting 54 percent from the field in their last four outings, shot a season-low 26.9 percent (14 of 52).  VCU's previous low was a 30 percent effort at Richmond on Dec. 5, 2010. 

The Black & Gold took a 9-4 lead on a traditional three-point play by Hurt at the 17:19 mark in the opening period but James Madison used an 11-2 spurt to pull ahead 15-11 less than five minutes later.

Hurt got the Rams within 15-14 with a pair of free throws at the 12:16 mark but it was as close as VCU would get the rest of the game.  After Barbour cut the Dukes' lead to 18-15 with 11:48 remaining, James Madison would hold VCU scoreless for seven straight minutes and used a 15-0 run to pull ahead 33-15 with 4:48 to go in the half.

The Dukes, who took a 41-23 advantage into the locker room, extended their lead to 51-29 with 14:21 left.  However, VCU would make one last push during the final 11 minutes.  Trailing 55-34 with 11:07 showing, the Rams used a 16-4 spurt to pull within 59-50 with 4:21 remaining. 

A layup by Dawn Evans, who led all scorers with 30 points, halted the run and James Madison scored 12 of the final 13 points to seal the win.

The Dukes have won six straight and 11 of the last 16 meetings against VCU.

The Rams continue three-game home stand on Sunday, Feb. 13 with a 2 p.m., matchup against Hofstra.  VCU then welcomes Old Dominion to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Thursday, Feb. 17.

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