by Matt Lincoln
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The VCU ladies hung in there with UR for a half, but the Spiders used a pivotal run to start the second frame to bypass their cross-town foe, 68-53.
Abby Oliver paced the Spiders with a season-best 22 points. Virginia Commonwealth University junior forward Courtney Hurt posted her fifth-straight double-double with a game-high 24 points and a career-best 15 rebounds.
VCU drops its third straight and slips to 2-3 on the season, while Richmond improves to 5-4.
Freshman Jacqueline Brewer added seven points, while junior Chelsea Snyder finished with six points and five rebounds for VCU. Senior Jennifer Lane added a team-high four assists.
Richmond set the tempo in the opening minutes of the second half with a 10-3 run to bolster its lead to 37-27. After VCU responded with four straight points, the Spiders threw the knockout punch, going on a 14-2 run to put the game at 54-33 with 9:34 left.
The Spiders led by as many as 24 after an Oliver lay up at the 8:22 mark. The Spider trio of Oliver, Crystal Goring and Brittani Shells proved to be too much with each player registering double-figures. Oliver, known for her success against the Rams, was a scorching 7-for-11 from the field, and tied a career-best with four of six makes from behind the arc. To round out her stellar performance, Oliver also collected a career-best eight boards.
Goring provided support with a season-best 14 points and seven rebounds, while Shells recorded her seventh game in double figures this season, 87th of her career, with 13 tallies. Shells also surpassed Laurie Governor for sole possession of fourth place on Richmond's all-time scoring list.
After trailing 12-11 at the 12:05 mark, Richmond took the lead for good with a 14-4 run to go up 24-16 in the ensuing seven minutes of play.
Richmond notched season-bests in rebounds (44) and assists (17). Kara Powell was the Spiders' dish-master with a team-high five.
The Spiders moved to 51-36 all-time versus VCU and recorded their third-straight win of the series. Head coach Michael Shafer improves to 5-1 against the Capital City foe.