February 17, 2011

VCU COMPLETES SEASON SWEEP OF OLD DOMINION WITH 74-53 WIN

RICHMOND, Va. – Junior forward Courtney Hurt (pictured, left) posted her NCAA-leading 20th double-double of the season with game highs of 27 points and 19 rebounds, and Virginia Commonwealth University completed the season sweep of Old Dominion for the first time in program history following a 74-53 victory Thursday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

VCU (15-9, 10-4 CAA), which has won four of the last five against Old Dominion, is just the second Colonial Athletic Association school to defeat the Lady Monarchs twice in a season.  James Madison won both of its contests against Old Dominion (17-8, 11-3 CAA) during the 2008-09 campaign.  It's also VCU's largest margin of victory against the Lady Monarchs since a 19-point win in 1974-75.

Junior Andrea Barbour (pictured, below) added 17 points and five rebounds for VCU, while classmate Jennifer Lane contributed nine points, five rebounds, a game-high seven assists and two steals.  Freshman Robyn Parks added seven points off the bench and rookie Jacqueline Brewer chipped in six.

"This is a great win tonight," said VCU Head Coach Beth Cunningham.  "It was a big game for us and certainly the atmosphere was great with our [Pink Zone] game.  The turnout was fantastic and our kids just came to play.  We talked coming into the game that the key was going to be defense and rebounding and that's the biggest reason we won.  I thought we did a great job in the second half creating separation on the boards."

Old Dominion hit five of its first seven from the field and jumped out to a 14-9 lead on a layup by Kquanise Byrd at the 12:02 mark in the opening period.  But Hurt's jumper on the ensuing possession sparked a 19-5 VCU run as the Rams went on top 28-19 just six minutes later.

Shakeva Richards knocked down a jumper to pull the Lady Monarchs within seven with 1:43 remaining in the half but Hurt nailed a triple to give VCU a 31-21 lead at the break.

VCU never looked back and Hurt pushed the Rams' lead to 42-25 at the line less than four minutes into the final stanza.  Old Dominion would get within 11 at the 9:37 mark on a 3-pointer by Shadasia Green but it was as close as the Lady Monarchs would get the rest of the game.

Old Dominion cut the Rams' lead to 67-52 with 2:53 to go but VCU went back on top 74-53 on a jumper by Parks with 10 seconds left.

For the second straight game, VCU held a commanding edge on the glass.  The Rams, who lead the CAA with a +6.2 rebounding margin, outrebounded Old Dominion, 49-34.

Byrd paced the Lady Monarchs with 11 points, while Tia Lewis and Jasmine Parker each finished with 10.

For the first time in program history, VCU donned pink uniforms courtesy of the Massey Cancer Center and participated in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Pink Zone initiative in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness.

The Rams hit the road for back-to-back games beginning with a 1 p.m. matchup at Drexel on Sunday, Feb. 20.  VCU then faces Delaware on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.

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