Friday, November 1, 2013

VCU's Hurt and JMU's Evans meet on opposite ends in France

We saw a lot of Courtney Hurt's team (VCU) vs. Dawn Evans' team (James Madison) in the CAA, and the two put on quite a show recently overseas, too. Hurt's USO Mondeville's team defeated Evans' team, Arras Pays D'Artois team 89-79 on Oct. 23.

Hurt: 7-of-10 from the field, 20 points, 11 rebounds, 29 minutes
Evans: 3-of-7 from the field, 16 points, 6 assists, 35 minutes

Hurt, the all-time leader in scoring and rebounding at VCU, had already given her teammates some scouting tips on Evans, No. 2 on the CAA's all-time scoring list: "I just told my teammates about her shooting abilities and tried to warn them about her quickness. My teammates were already familiar with her game, as she played in the French League last year and one of my current teammates, Sandra Dijon, played alongside her in Arras last season.

As for how her own season is going, Hurt says, "The French League is without a doubt the toughest league I have play in. It challenges me mentally and physically like never before. In college and even sometimes in Israel, I would match up with players around my height, but not so much over here. Post players are taller, more physical and the game is a bit faster."

Hurt, who played professionally last season in Israel, says she feels more like a professional athlete, though she doesn't dismiss the idea of returning to Elizur Netanya. "The games are packed every night with loud and passionate fans, something I really like! They go crazy after someone make a great play or block a shot; it really gives you energy. After the games, I have to dress up, sign up, take pictures with the fans and talk one on one with our sponsors. As far as on the court, here the level of pay is higher, and everyone is bigger, stronger, and there's not a huge drop in talent around the league. I feel like here I have to think about the game more as well; getting a feel for when to shoot and when to pass is huge. Everything is detailed, and teams are disciplined on both sides of the court. You make a couple of mistakes, and all of the sudden you're down 10."

If we hear from Dawn, we'll add her thoughts, too.

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