VCU DROPS REGULAR SEASON FINALE AT DREXEL, 73-63

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Senior Courtney Hurt registered a game-high 20 points, classmate Andrea Barbour finished with 17 and junior Carleeda Green added a career-high  11 off the bench, but Drexel caught fire from long range in the second half and handed VCU a 73-63 setback in its regular season finale Wednesday night at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

After hitting 1 of 7 three-pointers in the first 20 minutes, Drexel shot 7 of 12 from long range in the second stanza, including all four of Fiona Flanagan's treys during a key four-minute stretch midway through the second half. Kamile Nacickaite also went 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.

VCU cut the deficit to 62-61 on a pair of free throws by Barbour with 2:17 left, but Nacickaite drilled a trey from the right wing and Flanagan followed with a fast break layup on Drexel's next possession to put the Dragons' ahead by six with 1:35 left.

Drexel, which shot 60 percent (15 of 25) from the field in the final 20 minutes, then held VCU to just one field goal the rest of the way and went a perfect 6 for 6 from the free throw line to seal the win.

Barbour added a game-high six assists for the third straight outing to go along with seven rebounds, four steals and a pair of blocks.  Green went a perfect 4 of 4 from the field and hit three critical second half treys to keep the Rams close.  Hurt is now just 26 points away from becoming the first men's or women's player in school history, and just the sixth women's player in Colonial Athletic Association history, to score 2,000 career points.

After the first eight minutes featured five ties and seven lead changes, VCU used an 11-1 run capped by a 3-pointer from Barbour, and the Rams took their largest lead of the half at 21-15 with 8:21 to go.

A layup by Ayana Lee then halted the spurt and Drexel scored 10 of the next 11 points to take a 25-22 advantage, its largest of the period, on a basket by Tyler Hale with 3:27 showing. However, VCU responded with an 8-2 run to close the half and Hurt nailed a triple from the top of the arc with six seconds remaining, and the Rams took a 30-27 lead into the locker room.

After VCU increased its lead to six just a minute into the second half, Drexel battled back and regained the lead, 35-34, on a 3-pointer by Nacickaite with 16:01 to play.  However, Green came off the bench and scored five of the next nine points for VCU and gave the Black & Gold a seven-point advantage with 13:20 showing.

Trailing by five with 11:55 left, Flanagan hit four straight 3-pointers to give the Dragons a 52-48 lead.  Green again cut the deficit to 52-51 with her third triple before Barbour eventually made it a one-point game with a pair of free throws with 2:17 left.

VCU, which secured the No. 6 seed in next week's Colonial Athletic Association Championship, faces No. 11 William & Mary on March 8.  Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. from The Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.  Check VCUAthletics.com for complete tournament coverage.

 

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