KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Senior All-America candidate Courtney Hurt (pictured) scored 25 of her school record 40 points in the second half and sophomore Robyn Parks contributed a career-high 18 to key VCU to a 78-70 road win at University of Missouri Kansas City Saturday afternoon in the first-ever meeting between the schools.
Hurt, who matched VCU's record with 35 points against UNC Wilmington last season, produced the 10th-best single-game output in Colonial Athletic Association history with her 40 on Saturday. Meanwhile, VCU Head Coach Beth Cunningham, the school's all-time winningest coach, picked up her 150th career victory.
Senior guard Andrea Barbour added 13 points, five rebounds and three steals as she, Hurt and Parks combined to score 71 of VCU's 78 points.
UMKC (2-1) showed its ability to score early and often during its first two games of the season, averaging 93.5 points while outscoring its opponents by a combined 70. The Rams limited the Kangaroos to just 35 percent shooting in the game, while VCU (2-1) shot 51.8 percent, 64 in the second half.
Dayon Hall-Jones paced four UMKC players in double figure scoring with 16 points.
VCU hit eight of its first 12 from the field and raced out to a 17-4 advantage through the first six minutes of the contest. UMKC settled down after its slow start and answered with a 17-3 run spanning nearly four minutes to take its only lead of the game. A 3-pointer from the left corner by Hall-Jones knotted the score at 20-20 before she put the Kangaroos ahead at the charity stripe with 9:21 showing.
The lead wouldn't last long, though, as a pair of free throws from freshman Christina Carter put VCU back on top for good a minute later. A layup by Hurt extended the Rams' lead to 30-25 with 4:20 to go but UMKC continued to chip away and got within a point on a basket by Hailey Houser at the 1:28 mark.
Hurt and Parks, who combined to score 30 of VCU's 34 first-half points, contributed 15 apiece in the opening stanza.
The Kangaroos kept the score close through the first five minutes of the second half, trailing by no more than three points until a jumper by Hurt sparked an 18-5 VCU spurt that saw the Conyers, Ga., native score 13 points during the run. Parks eventually pushed the Rams' lead back to 58-44 on a jumper with 11:10 left. VCU held at least a nine-point lead over the following six minutes.
Trailing by 13 with four minutes to go, UMKC caught fire and scored 11 of the next 13 points and pulled within four on a 3-pointer by Eilise O'Connor with 2:25 showing. It was as close as the Kangaroos would get, however, as a layup by Barbour less than a minute later put VCU back in front 73-67. The Rams then went 5 for 8 from the free throw line in the final 38 seconds to secure their second straight road win.
Saturday's game marked a homecoming of sorts for senior Jennifer Lane and junior Robyn Hobson as both are from the state of Kansas. It was the closest the pair has played to their home state since beginning their collegiate careers.
VCU returns to the Verizon Wireless Arena on Tues., Nov. 22 when it hosts Atlantic-10 foe Charlotte at 7 p.m. The Rams then travel to Winthrop for a 1 p.m. tipoff on Nov. 27. The Black & Gold plays three of its next four contests at home.