February 26, 2012

VCU SUFFERS 69-59 SETBACK AGAINST GEORGE MASON IN HOME FINALE

RICHMOND, Va. – Senior forward Courtney Hurt recorded her 18th double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and classmate Andrea Barbour added 18 points, nine boards and six assists, but VCU couldn't overcome a late first half deficit and fell to George Mason in its regular season home finale, 69-59, Sunday afternoon at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Hurt, now just 46 points away from 2,000, passed Eric Maynor (1,953 points) on VCU's all-time scoring list, which includes both men's and women's programs.  Should Hurt (1,954) reach the 2,000-point plateau, she would become just the sixth women's player in Colonial Athletic Association history to accomplish the feat.  The Rams have two guaranteed games remaining this season.

VCU recognized its seniors (pictured) with a ceremony prior to Sunday's game.  The group marked one of the most successful senior classes in program history, compiling 83 wins and three-straight postseason appearances, including the program's first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2008.

Freshman Christina Carter finished with seven points and two assists, while classmate Aprill McRae chipped in six points and five rebounds off the bench for VCU.

George Mason was led by senior Taleia Moton's game-high 20 points.  Amber Easter added 15, while eight different Patriots scored.

Trailing 11-6 less than six minutes into the game, VCU scored seven straight and Barbour put the Rams on top 13-11 after a layup with 12:22 showing.   But a bucket from Christine Weithman two possessions later sparked a 20-4 George Mason run and the Patriots, who never trailed the rest of the game, built a 31-17 lead on a jumper by Janaa Pickard with 3:48 to go in the half.

VCU scored five straight to close the period and eventually cut the deficit to 33-24 at the break.

The Rams continued to fight and used a quick 6-0 run early in the second half and Hurt pulled VCU within 43-38 with 14:29 left.  However, George Mason went back up by 10 less than a minute later and never looked back.

VCU trimmed the deficit to six on four occasions the rest of the way, including 63-57 after a pair of Hurt free throws with 51 seconds to go.  The Patriots, who completed their first regular season sweep of VCU since 2003-04, then hit six straight at the line down the stretch to keep the game out of reach.

VCU closes out the regular season at Drexel on Feb. 29.  Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.  The Colonial Athletic Association Championship takes place March 8-11 at The Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.

 

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