NEWARK, Del. – Senior forward Courtney Hurt posted her 13th double-double of the season with a team-high 19 points and 12 rebounds, while classmate Andrea Barbour chipped in 17, but VCU's second half rally fell short in a 68-49 loss at 12th-ranked Delaware Sunday afternoon at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Trailing by 12 with 15:58 to go, VCU used a 6-0 run to cut the deficit in half with 12:33 left. The Rams again made it a six-point game with 9:56 remaining, while holding Delaware to just one field goal during a nine-minute stretch, but the high-powered Blue Hens offense scored 20 of the final 27 points of the game to seal its 20th victory of the season.
Delaware improves to 20-1 with a perfect 11-0 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Blue Hens' only loss this season came in a close nine-point setback at fifth-ranked Maryland on Dec. 29. It was the second time this year VCU has faced a ranked opponent as the Rams fell at #12/10 Miami on Dec. 28.
VCU, which committed a season-low seven turnovers, slips to 13-9, 6-5 in CAA play.
Delaware got off to a hot start hitting five of its first seven from the field and jumped out to an early 13-2 lead less than four minutes into the contest.
A jumper by Barbour and a layup from freshman Christina Carter cut the deficit to nine at the 14:57 mark but Delaware continued with its hot hand, answering with a 12-5 spurt to build its largest lead of the half at 27-11 on back-to-back buckets from Elena Delle Donne and Akeema Richards with 10:47 to play.
The Blue Hens, who shot 57 percent (17 of 30) in the opening stanza, continued to push but VCU wouldn't go away without a fight. Trailing by 14 with 2:42 to go, the Rams scored seven of the final nine points of the half, including a jumper from Carter as time expired, to pull within 37-28 at the break.
A stick-back from senior Chelsea Snyder and jumper by Barbour cut the deficit to 40-32 less than two minutes into the second half.
Delaware later went up by 12 on a layup from Danielle Parker with 15:28 to go, but VCU scored six straight and eventually trimmed the deficit to 46-40 with 12:33 remaining.
The Rams locked down on defense and held Delaware to just one field goal during a nine-minute stretch as part of the rally. However, it wasn't long before the Blue Hens charged back using an 8-0 run, including a perfect 6 of 6 at the free throw line, to push their lead back to 14 with 6:01 left.
VCU continued to battle but the Delaware offense proved to be too much, scoring 20 of the final 27 points to secure the win.
Delle Donne paced four Blue Hens in double figure scoring with a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. Parker finished with a season-best 16, Richards added 12 and Lauren Carra chipped in 11.
VCU returns to the Verizon Wireless Arena for a three-game home stand, beginning with Hofstra on Feb. 9. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The Rams then entertain James Madison on Feb. 12 for their annual Pink Zone game, before hosting William & Mary on Feb. 16.