ATLANTA, Ga. – Junior forward Courtney Hurt, who led all scorers with 32 points and 10 rebounds, set the Colonial Athletic Association's single-season double-doubles record with her NCAA-leading 23rd and Virginia Commonwealth University attempted a school record 45 free throws en route to a 69-57 win against Georgia State Wednesday night at the GSU Sports Arena.
Down eight with 12:26 remaining, the Rams scored 32 of the final 44 points and went 27-of-30 from the free throw line to seal the win.
VCU concludes the regular season 18-10 overall with a 13-5 mark in CAA play. Georgia State finishes 11-18, 6-12. The Rams, who earned the No. 4 seed in next week's CAA Tournament, will face the winner of No. 5 Hofstra/No. 12 William & Mary on Friday, March 11 at 2:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.
Hurt, who posted her fourth 30-point game of the season, went a career-best 15-of-19 at the free throw line, while junior Jennifer Lane added 10 points and tied a school record going a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe. Junior Andrea Barbour chipped in 11 points and six rebounds, and senior Jessica Taylor tallied six points and seven boards.
Georgia State, which saw three players foul out and three more finish with four fouls, was led by Traci Haltiwanger's 13 points. Chan Harris added seven and a team-best 10 rebounds for the Panthers.
VCU and Georgia State, which combined to shoot 5-of-24 during the first eight minutes of the contest, struggled to find the cylinder in the early going as the Rams held a 10-4 advantage with 12:15 showing.
Hurt pushed the Black & Gold lead to 18-11 at the line less than four minutes later before Georgia State reeled off nine of the next 12 and pulled within 21-20 with 5:10 left in the opening period. The Panthers, who recovered to shoot 44.4 percent from the field in the first half, continued to pressure and took their first lead of the game on a layup by Cody Paulk at the 3:25 mark and eventually capped off a 15-5 run to go ahead 28-23 on a layup from Harris with 2:42 remaining.
Taylor then nailed a triple less than 30 seconds later, pulling VCU within two at the break.
Georgia State extended its lead to 36-29 with 16:24 remaining but a 3-pointer by Taylor pulled VCU within four and freshman Robyn Parks, who finished with eight points and five rebounds, made it a one-point game with a pair from the line at the 13:31 mark. However, the Panthers reeled off seven straight and built their largest lead of the game, 45-37, less than a minute later.
A triple by Hurt halted Georgia State's spurt with 11:52 remaining, and she scored 11 points in a 12-2 VCU run as the Rams battled back and took their first lead since the 3:55 mark in the opening period on a layup by Hurt with 7:14 to go.
The Panthers went back in front on the ensuing possession and built a 53-49 advantage on a pair of Angelique Burtts free throws with 6:00 left. But Hurt remained in control, scoring 10 of the next 14 to put the Rams up 63-57 with 1:28 left. VCU, which won despite shooting a season-low 26.3 percent from the field, hit 16 straight at the free throw line to close the game.