I think that the Sword of Gryffindor alone, without its blade being impregnated with Basilisk venom, would not have been able to destroy Horcruxes.
‘It doesn’t have to be a Basilisk fang,’ said Hermione patiently. ‘It has to be something so destructive that the Horcrux can’t repair itself. Basilisk venom only has one antidote, and it’s incredibly rare –’
‘– phoenix tears,’ said Harry, nodding.
‘Exactly,’ said Hermione. ‘Our problem is that there are very few substances as destructive as Basilisk venom, and they’re all dangerous to carry around with you. That’s a problem we’re going to have to solve, though, because ripping, smashing or crushing a Horcrux won’t do the trick. You’ve got to put it beyond magical repair.
Deathly Hallows - page 90 - UK Hardcover - chapter 7, The Ghoul in Pyjamas
So you can't rip, smash or crush a Horcrux; it must be defeated and killed by the delivery of certain substances, one of those substances being Basilisk venom. Without the Basilisk venom, the sword was just a sword -- a precious, Goblin-made sword no doubt, but ultimately just a sword.
As to how the sword became imbued with Basilisk venom, it would seem that Harry, while driving the sword through the head of the Basilisk drove it through a venom sac, exposing the sword to vast quantities of venom. As Basilisks are mythical creatures, I do not know where their venom sacs are located, or if Basilisks have free-roaming venom throughout their bloodstream, hence allowing Harry to bring the sword into contact with venom through the roof of the Basilisk's mouth.