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.
But first, Hurt will zero in on Hoover, who scored 1,750 points between 1985-89 for the Rams. As much as she’d like to focus solely on winning games, it’s been hard to ignore the record completely.
“It’s been in the back of my mind, I’m not going to lie,” Hurt said. “But my approach is the same, go out there and execute and follow the scouting report.”
Hurt has averaged 20.0 points in her last two meetings with the Patriots, including 17 in a victory last season at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Barring injury, the record isn’t a matter of if, just a matter of when. But Hurt has been careful not to follow her own headlines too closely. She says personal accolades don’t mean much to her. At some point, Hurt says she’ll give the record more thought, but only under certain conditions.
“If we win a CAA Championship,” said Hurt, a 2011 All-America Honorable Mention. “Records are great, but who really cares? People care about championships.”
Hurt grabbed her 1,000th rebound in Thursday’s 57-56 loss at UNC Wilmington, joining Quanitra Hollingsworth as the only Ram to reach that mark. Hollingsworth is VCU’s career leader in the category with 1,114, another mark within Hurt’s reach.
That might be the more appropriate record for Hurt, considering that’s what she says she owes her success to.
“[Records were] never a goal, honestly, especially coming in as a freshman,” she said. “It was just doing what coach tells me to do, which was rebound. Rebounding led to more playing time. Playing time led to more confidence and more experience, which led to more opportunities to score.”