RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Commonwealth University women's basketball team concluded its 2011-12 season on Thursday night with its annual postseason awards banquet held at Westwood Country Club.
On the heels of VCU's fifth straight postseason appearance, including its fourth postseason victory in the last three years, Head Coach Beth Cunningham and her staff handed out several individual awards to recognize yet another successful campaign. The event also marked a farewell for seniors Andrea Barbour, Courtney Hurt and Chelsea Snyder (pictured, right).
Hurt, who was recently selected by the Indiana Fever in the third round of the 2012 WNBA Draft, received the team's Most Valuable Player award. She continued to rewrite VCU's record books this year, while leading the nation in rebounding (13.1 rpg) and finishing ninth in the NCAA in scoring (22.3 ppg). Hurt also became the program's all-time leader in scoring (2,092), rebounding (1,243), double-doubles (58), games played (131), field goals (770), free throws (503) and minutes played (3,694).
Barbour, meanwhile, was recognized as the Rams' Defensive Player of the Year after leading the team with 84 steals (2.5 spg) and finishing third with 17 blocks. Her 84 steals were also tied for the second-most in the Colonial Athletic Association. Barbour also averaged an impressive 17.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.5 steals per game this year.
Snyder received the Heart of the Team honor, which is given annually to the player that exudes extraordinary leadership and passion. She started 25 games this year and contributed 3.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and a team-leading 0.8 blocks per game. Snyder finished her senior campaign strong, averaging nearly six points, six rebounds and two blocks in her final 12 outings. She also came up with a several key defensive stops during the year that helped lead to VCU victories.
In addition to its three major awards, the coaching staff handed out several other individual honors. Junior Daphne Adebayo, freshman Christina Carter and Snyder received the team's top academic honor. Hurt, who led the nation with 13.1 rebounds per game this season received the annual "Windex" award, while sophomore Zakia Williams earned the "Hustle" award, Barbour received the "Deflections" award for her play on defense, Carter took home the "Competitor" honor for winning the most drills during the year and Snyder earned the "Who's in Charge" award for drawing the most charges last season.
VCU finished the 2011-12 campaign with a 19-15 record and advanced to the Round of 16 in the Postseason WNIT for the second time in the last three years. This season also marked the only time in school history back-to-back senior classes appeared in postseason play all four years.
ADDITIONAL 2011-12 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
This year's senior class helped lead VCU to one of its best four-year stints in program history, including postseason appearances each season and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament berth in 2008-09. During their careers, the Rams averaged an impressive 22 wins per year.
VCU is the only CAA school to place a member on the All-CAA First Team in each of the last five seasons. Senior Courtney Hurt joined D'Andra Moss (2010), Quanitra Hollingsworth (2009) and Krystal Vaughn (2008) on the list of first team honorees during that span.
Hurt garnered her second straight Associated Press All-America honor, while becoming VCU's all-time leader in scoring (2,092 points), rebounding (1,243), double-doubles (58), games played (131), field goals (770), free throws (503) and minutes played (3,694). Even more impressive, her career scoring, rebounding and double-double totals are the most by any VCU men's or women's player in school history.
Senior Andrea Barbour, who averaged 17.0 points per game this season, drilled game-winning baskets in the final second of VCU's Postseason WNIT victories over Bowling Green and St. Joseph's.
Hurt, who was named 2011-12 Richmond Times-Dispatch State Player of the Year, led the nation in rebounding for the second year in a row (13.1 rpg) while ranking ninth in the NCAA in scoring with 22.3 ppg.
Freshman Christina Carter finished second among CAA freshman with 3.1 assists per game, including a career-high nine (with just one turnover) at Old Dominion on Feb. 19.
Hurt became the third VCU player in the last five years to be drafted by the WNBA as she was chosen in the third round by the Indiana Fever on April 16. VCU ranks second all-time in CAA history with draft selections of Krystal Vaughn (2008), Quanitra Hollingsworth (2009) and Hurt. The Rams are also one of two non-BCS programs in the nation to have at least three draft picks since 2008.
VCU ranked second in the CAA and 41st nationally in rebounding margin. The Rams outrebounded their opponent 23 times this season, including 12 times with a +11 margin or more.
2011-12 ALL-CAA HONORS
Courtney Hurt: All-CAA First Team, All-CAA Academic Team, CAA All-Tournament Team
Andrea Barbour: All-CAA Second Team
Christina Carter: CAA All-Rookie Team
Aprill McRae: CAA All-Rookie Team