GREENVILLE, N.C. – Senior forward Courtney Hurt scored 21 of her game-high 28 points in the second half and keyed VCU to its fourth straight road victory following a 62-49 win against East Carolina Wednesday night at Minges Coliseum.
East Carolina pulled within three with 18:26 left but VCU scored 17 of the next 23 points to build a 14-point advantage and the Pirates could never recover.
VCU (5-3, 1-0 CAA) snapped a two-game losing skid against East Carolina and handed the Pirates just their first loss at home since late last season, a streak of 12 straight games, one shy of the school's all-time record.
Hurt posted her fourth straight double-double with 12 rebounds, a pair of blocks and an assist, while senior Andrea Barbour added 14 points, eight boards and a game-high tying four steals. Sophomore Robyn Parks chipped in seven points and five rebounds, and freshman Christina Carter finished with five points and game-best five assists.
East Carolina (5-3) hit four of its first six from the field and jumped out to a 12-4 advantage just over four minutes in. VCU battled back and Parks pulled the Rams within 14-11 at the 14:09 mark before Katie Paschal beat the shot clock with a layup, which gave the Pirates a five-point advantage two minutes later.
Momentum would swing in VCU's favor, however, as the Black & Gold kept East Carolina off the board for seven straight minutes, while the Rams used a 9-0 run, capped off by a stick-back from Hurt, to pull ahead 20-16 with 6:18 left.
After Britny Edwards made it a two-point game with 5:11 to go, Carter scored five of the Rams' next eight points and VCU took its largest lead of the half at 27-20 on a fast break layup from Parks with 2:57 remaining. East Carolina would pull within two with less than 1:30 to go but Barbour scored the final four points for VCU, including a jumper with five seconds showing, to give the Rams a 31-26 advantage at the break.
Kristine Mail, who finished with a team-high 17 points, pulled East Carolina within three after a layup with 18:26 left but it was as close as the Pirates would get as Hurt caught fire and scored 13 of VCU's next 15 points and the Rams used a 15-4 spurt to take their largest lead at 46-32 with 10:27 showing.
Back-to-back 3-pointers and a fast break layup by Mail pulled East Carolina within 50-42 with 7:39 left but VCU scored six straight to go back up by 14 less than two minutes later.
VCU shot 48.3 percent from the field, including 50 percent in the second half, while holding East Carolina to just 29.3 percent shooting in the final stanza
After a 10-day break, VCU returns to the Verizon Wireless Arena for back-to-back games against Coppin State on Dec. 18 and Norfolk State on Dec. 21. Tipoff against the Eagles is set for 2 p.m.