TOWSON, Md. – Senior forward Courtney Hurt led three VCU players in double-figure scoring with a game-high 23 points, including 13 of 16 from the free throw line, and the Rams snapped a two-game road losing skid with a 66-59 victory at Towson Thursday night.
Towson (12-9, 3-7 CAA) tried to rally late, pulling within five with 55.5 seconds left, but Hurt came up with a huge block with less than 30 seconds to play and gave VCU a seven-point advantage on a layup with 12 seconds showing. She then sealed the win with a pair of clutch free throws with 4.4 seconds to go.
Senior Andrea Barbour added 18 points and nine rebounds, while junior Robyn Hobson (pictured), who made her first career start, chipped in a career-high 14 points. Sophomore Zakia Williams dished out a career-best four assists off the bench.
A jumper from Krystal Parnell pulled Towson within 10-8 seven minutes into the contest before VCU (13-8, 6-4 CAA) answered with six quick points during a 1:30 stretch to push its lead to 16-8 with 11:56 showing. Junior Carleeda Green found a wide open Barbour under the basket with a cross court pass before freshman Aprill McRae converted a fast break layup to give the Rams the eight-point advantage midway through the opening stanza
VCU later pushed its lead to 22-12 after Williams, who dished out all four of her assists in the first half, came up with a steal and fed Hurt for another fast break layup with 7:29 to go, which capped off a 12-4 spurt.
The Rams finished the half strong, holding Towson to just one field goal during the final 5:21. Williams later snuck a pass to Barbour, who then drilled a pull-up jumper to extend VCU's lead to 32-21, its largest of the half, with 20 seconds left before the break
Hurt led the Black & Gold with 13 first-half points, seven of which came from the free throw line.
VCU, which shot 50-percent from the field in the second stanza, extended its lead to 40-25 on a Barbour jumper with 16:22 to go before Towson began to climb back. The Tigers responded with a 16-6 run and eventually trimmed the deficit to 46-41 on a layup by Deree Fooks with 9:25 remaining.
Towson continued to keep it close, trailing by just six with 4:38 to go before VCU built a 58-47 lead on a traditional 3-point play by senior Chelsea Snyder with 3:15 left.
Trailing by 10 with 2:44 to go, Towson scratched back and eventually pulled within 62-57 on a free throw from Parnell with less than a minute remaining. It was as close as the Tigers would get the rest of the way.
Solid defense has been a key to VCU's success in recent years. The Rams have now won 105 of their last 122 games when holding an opponent to 60 points or less, including an 8-2 mark this year.
VCU concludes its two-game road swing at #12 Delaware on Sunday, Feb. 5. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. The Rams return to the Verizon Wireless Arena for three straight home games, beginning with Hofstra on Feb. 9.