December 29, 2011

VCU FALLS AT #12/10 MIAMI, 91-61

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Senior forward Courtney Hurt registered her seventh double-double of the season with game-highs of 25 points and 16 rebounds but VCU fell victim to a high-powered University of Miami squad, falling to the 10th-ranked Hurricanes, 91-61, Thursday evening in the championship game of the Miami Holiday Tournament.

The Hurricanes, who boast the NCAA's highest scoring offense, extended their home winning streak to 32 games, the third-longest active streak in the nation.

Senior Andrea Barbour added 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals for the Rams, while senior Chelsea Snyder added seven points on 3 of 3 shooting off the bench.  Hurt was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging an impressive 28.5 points and 18.5 rebounds per game during the two-day event.

The Hurricanes' defense, which ranks second in the nation in both steals and turnover margin, made its presence felt early and often, forcing a series of miscues while limiting VCU to a pair of field goals through the first five minutes.  The early push helped Miami (11-2) jump out to a 14-5 lead before the Rams climbed back.

A runner in the lane by junior Carleeda Green and a stick-back from sophomore Robyn Parks made it a five-point game at the 13:33 mark.  VCU (8-4) pulled within five on two more occasions over the next 1:33 but it was as close as the Rams would get.

A triple from the right corner by freshman Christina Carter made it an eight-point game with 8:12 showing before Miami scored 16 straight to go up 40-16 at the five-minute mark.

The Hurricanes, who have reached the 90-point plateau eight times during their first 13 games, pushed their lead to 25 on a traditional 3-point play by Suriya McGuire with 2:32 to go, but VCU held Miami without a field goal the remainder of the period and scored eight of the final 10 points to cut the deficit to 49-30 at the break.

Miami pushed its lead back to 23 less than 2:30 into the second half before VCU used a 14-7 spurt and got within 60-44 on a triple by Hurt with 12:30 to go. It was as close as the Rams had been since the seven-minute mark in the first half.

A fast break layup by Hurt with 8:41 left pulled the Black & Gold within 18 but Miami held VCU to just one field goal over the next seven minutes and used a 25-6 run to go on top 91-54 with 1:38 to go.  VCU scored the final seven points of the game.

Morgan Stroman paced four Miami players in double figure scoring, finishing with 23 points.  Stefanie Yderstrom added 20, while Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams chipped in 12 apiece.  Johnson also grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds

VCU returns to Colonial Athletic Association play on Jan. 5, opening the New Year at James Madison.  Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.  The Rams then return to the Verizon Wireless Arena for back-to-back conference matchups against UNC Wilmington (Jan. 8) and Old Dominion (Jan. 11).