Play of injured Fuller inspires Hofstra women's basketball to win over first place VCU

Four days after Jess Fuller suffered a severe sprained ankle against UNC-Wilmington the senior center decided to play through the pain in Thursday's women’s basketball matinee against Virginia Commonwealth. The 6’4 Fuller only logged 15 minutes but provided a spark off the bench with 10 points and one block to help the Pride upset the first place team in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
Thanks to the heroic effort from Fuller along with 19 points from sophomore guard Nicole Capurso, Hofstra defeated VCU 74-66 for its fourth win in five games. Sam Brigham also stepped up during the Pride's second of three weekday afternoon games this season with 17 points on 12-12 from the free throw line to help Hofstra improve to 14-10 and 7-5 in the CAA.
When Fuller first entered the game she blocked a shot with 1:46 left in the first half bringing the Hofstra bench to its feet. Her basket with 4:11 left in the second half game made it 63-56 Hofstra and gave the Pride some much-needed insurance after the Rams (16-8, 9-3 in CAA) had clawed their way back into the game after tailing by as many as 14.
"Just the fact that she was suited up intimidated them and then when she came into the game they had no answer for it," said Brigham of the importance of Fuller's presence against VCU. 
Fuller said she was determined from the moment she got injured this past Sunday to be able to play against VCU, but this morning it was still uncertain if her ankle would allow her to. "In the back of the mind I knew I was still going to play," said Fuller. "The second half it was feeling really, really sore."

Another positive from Thursday's win was the play of Hofstra's bench, which outscored VCU 34-8 and 18-0 in the first half. "It was a great team win," said Hofstra women's basketball head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey. "I can't be more proud of my team."
Thursday's win moves Hofstra to within a game and a half of fourth place. If the Pride manage to finish in the top four it would mean a first round bye in next month's CAA Tournament. Hofstra is next in action at Northeastern this Sunday at 2 p.m.


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