HURT OPTS FOR EFFORT OVER EASE, RUNS TO VCU SCORING MARK

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Senior Courtney Hurt set VCU's career scoring mark Thursday. She has 1,755 points.

RICHMOND, Va. – Courtney Hurt had been so good at basketball her whole life, she really had no idea what playing at the Division I level would be like. Her freshman year can euphemistically be called an education.

“When I first got here, to be honest, I didn’t think college basketball was going to be that hard, that much different than high school,” the VCU senior forward said. “My senior year [I averaged] 28 and 12. I thought I could just come in and perform. But I had to take a step back and coach pushed me really hard. It was the card I was dealt, and she got her point across after about 100 suicides.”

Thursday, Hurt, long since removed from the country club work ethic of her freshman year, became VCU’s career scoring leader with a free throw at the 10:03 mark of the second half of the Rams’ 47-41 loss to Drexel at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Hurt, who has 1,755 career points, broke Kelly Hoover’s 23-year old record of 1,750.

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HOOVER PREPARED TO PASS TORCH TO HURT

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Kelly Hoover averaged 15.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.8 assist per game during her VCU career from 1985-89.

RICHMOND, Va. – Kelly Hoover’s tenure atop the VCU career points list is all but over, but she’s enjoyed the ride.

Hoover has held the Rams’ scoring mark for 23 years. She piled up 1,750 points for VCU from 1985-89 and passed Becky Crow during her senior season to become VCU’s all-time leader. Chances are good that she’ll pass to torch to current Ram Courtney Hurt Thursday when VCU hosts Drexel at the Verizon Wireless Arena at 7 p.m. Hurt, who is averaging 23 points per game, needs just five to make the record hers.

While she’s proud of the record, Hoover, who also ranks second in school history with 431 assists and seventh in career steals, has no problems surrendering the throne.

“My family is a little sad, but I think it’s exciting, for her, the team, for her family,” Hoover said

A native of Staunton, Va., Hoover has resided in Richmond since graduating in 1989 with a degree in criminal justice. She worked for UPS for 17 years before leaving three years ago to start her own landscaping business, Premier Lawn Care. She says she also dabbles in real estate.

Owning her own business has kept her busy and away from the Siegel Center in recent years, but Hoover says she plans on being in the arena Thursday to watch Hurt break the record.

Hoover played her games at Franklin Street Gym, but today her No. 20 jersey hangs from the Siegel Center rafters. It was retired three years ago, a moment she holds dear.

“It was pretty exciting,” she said. “It was one of those wow moments that you’ll never forget. It’s nice to be recognized. I’m very honored. Any time I walk in there I look up and think, ‘Wow, it’s really up there.’”

In addition to Hoover’s scoring mark, the 6-foot-1 forward is closing in on the Rams’ record for career rebounds. A retired jersey is likely in Hurt’s future as well, where it would hang alongside Hoover’s. It would be nice to have company, Hoover says.

“I can’t complain. Hopefully she’ll get her jersey retired down the road. Records are meant to be broken.”

HURT CLOSING ON VCU SCORING RECORD

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Courtney Hurt needs 22 points to become VCU's career scoring leader.

When Courtney Hurt was a freshman, VCU Coach Beth Cunningham made it clear that rebounding would earn her more playing time. Four years later, rebounding may have been what got Hurt on the floor, but it’s scoring that has made her unforgettable.

Hurt needs 22 point to pass Kelly Hoover to become the Rams’ career scoring leader. She’ll get a chance on Sunday, Jan. 22 at George Mason at 2 p.m. at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. If she doesn’t reach the mark Sunday, she’ll get another crack on Thursday, Jan. 26 when the Rams host Drexel at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Through 17 games, Hurt is enjoying another spectacular season. The Conyers, Ga. native is averaging 23.2 points and a Colonial Athletic Association-best 12.6 rebounds per game. If she continues at her current pace, she could surpass 2,000 career points. No Ram, man or woman, has reached 2,000 points since the RPI-MCV merger formed VCU in 1968.

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