HURT HEADLINES FOUR RAMS EARNING ALL-CAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HONORS

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. – Four Virginia Commonwealth University women's basketball players received All-Colonial Athletic Association accolades Wednesday evening at the conference's annual pre-tournament awards banquet.

For the second year in a row senior Courtney Hurt (pictured, right) headlined VCU's awards as she received first team All-CAA recognition to go along with second team All-Academic accolades.  Classmate Andrea Barbour garnered second team All-CAA honors for the second straight season, while freshmen Christina Carter and Aprill McRae were each named to the All-Rookie squad.

VCU is the only CAA school to place a member on the first team in each of the last five years.  Hurt (2011) joins D'Andra Moss (2010), Quanitra Hollingsworth (2009) and Krystal Vaughn (2008) on the list of first team honorees during that span.

Hurt picked up where she left off after a breakout junior campaign a year ago.  She finished the regular season leading the NCAA in rebounding (12.6 rpg), while ranking ninth in scoring (22.0 ppg) and fourth in double-doubles (18).  Hurt, who is the only player to rank among the top 10 nationally in both scoring and rebounding, continued to rewrite VCU's record book this season, becoming the school's all-time leader in scoring (1,974 points), rebounding (1,160), games played (126) and free throws made (480).  She is currently two double-doubles shy of the program's all-time mark of 55, and is just the second player in school history to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Hurt, now just 26 points away from 2,000, passed Eric Maynor (1,953) on VCU's all-time scoring list in February, which includes both men's and women's programs.  Should she reach the 2,000-point plateau, Hurt would become just the sixth women's player in conference history to accomplish the feat.  Hurt also broke the school's 31-year-old single game scoring record with 40 points at UMKC on Nov. 19.

Barbour (pictured, left) teamed with Hurt to provide a dangerous senior duo that provided better than 61 percent of the Rams' offense this season, as VCU was the only school in the CAA to have two players ranked among the top seven in scoring.  The Charlottesville, Va., native averaged 16.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, while leading the team in assists (3.2 apg) and steals (2.5 apg).  Barbour scored at least 12 points in all but three contests this season, including seven 20-point performances.

Meanwhile, Carter and McRae became the first VCU freshmen duo to receive All-Rookie honors in the same season.  Carter was a mainstay in the Rams' starting lineup, averaging 4.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.  The Thomasville, N.C., native has collected at least four assists in four of her last seven outings, including a career-high nine (with just one turnover) at Old Dominion on Feb. 19.  She sports a 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio during that stretch, and finished the regular season ranked second among CAA freshmen (14th overall) in assists per game.

McRae was a welcomed addition in the post for the Rams this year, averaging 5.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.  She came on strong late in the season, contributing 8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg while shooting a team-best 72 percent (16 of 22) from the field during her final four games.  McRae contributed 12 points and five boards off the bench and went 6 of 6 against Georgia State on Feb. 23, marking the first time in nearly nine years a VCU player had shot 100 percent from the field.  She reached double figure scoring five times this year and hauled in a career-best 12 rebounds against Drexel on Jan. 26.

Carter and McRae each earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors twice this season.

Delaware's Elena Delle Donne was named CAA Player of the Year, while her coach Tina Martin received CAA Coach of the Year honors.  Old Dominion's Ashley Betz-White garnered Rookie of the Year recognition and James Madison's Nikki Newman was named Defensive Player of the Year.  Hofstra's Candice Bellocchio received the prestigious Dean Ehlers Leadership Award.

The sixth-seeded Rams open the CAA Women's Basketball Championship against No. 11 William & Mary on Thurs., March 8.  Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m., from The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.

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