Women’s basketball ousted by Orange

Women’s basketball ousted by Orange

Staff reports

The women’s basketball team fought valiantly but ultimately fell short versus Syracuse 75-59 in the third round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament—ending what was the Rams’ longest postseason run in school history.

Seniors D’Andra Moss (Atlanta, Ga./Norcross) and Kita Waller (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) and junior Courtney Hurt (Conyers, Ga./Salem) combined to score 54 of all 59 points for the Rams.

VCU and Syracuse both shot the ball well in a hotly contested first half that saw five ties and 15 different lead changes, and in which no team led by more than four points.

Though Syracuse shot a better shooting percentage in the first period (55 percent for Syracuse versus 50 percent for VCU), VCU went into the break with a 39-37 lead thanks in no small part to Moss who scored 18 of her team-high 39 points in the first half.

The back-and-forth contest continued deep into the second half until the eight-minute mark when VCU held a 53-48 lead. At that point, Orange center Kayla Alexander sparked a run by hitting two free throws coming out of a timeout and by the six-minute mark came, Syracuse took the lead and never relinquished it again.

The Rams’ downfall came in the second period after their shooting touch deserted them. VCU made just six field goals on 21 percent shooting in the half and at one point went over nine minutes without making a bucket.

Syracuse did damage on the offensive end too, closing the game on a 26-6 run. The Orange were led by Alexander who had 19 points to go along with six rebounds and four blocks.

Syracuse advanced to face Michigan in WNIT quarterfinal action Sunday, and got wiped out by the Wolverines 78-52 in Ann Arbor.

This season marked the third season in a row in which VCU won at least 20 games. This year’s third round appearance bettered the second round appearance the Rams made in the 2008 WNIT, and comes following VCU’s first round in last year’s NCAA Tournament.

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