BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The 19th-ranked Rams had national-votes getter Illinois Wesleyan in a tie game down the stretch, but couldn't close out the opportunity on the road in a 79-70 women's basketball loss Friday night at Shirk Center.
Senior Caitlin Bisinger tossed in a team-high 16 points for the Rams (2-1), including two free throws that tied it at 53-53 with 7:13 remaining. The Titans (3-0), the 2012 NCAA champions, pulled away with a 9-1 spurt over the next three minutes and sealed the game from the foul line.
Cornell got within 64-60 on a Taylor Dicus layup with 1:57 to go. Illinois Wesleyan held off a Ram rally by hitting 15-of-16 free throws the rest of the way. The Titans connected on 25-of-31 foul shots in the second half, while the Rams went 13-of-17.
Cornell sophomore forward Maggie Hogen recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while also dishing four assists. Dicus, who joined the team this week after a successful volleyball season, finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Rams grabbed 22 offensive rebounds and held a 48-37 advantage on the boards. Hogen and Dicus each had six offensive rebounds.
Bisinger buried three of the team's six three-point goals and was 7-of-10 from the foul line. She notched her highest point total since her freshman season.
Rikki Mulloy chipped in eight points. Freshman Diamond Boyd had seven points and six rebounds. Kellie Kuzmanic added six points, six rebounds and four assists. Chelsea Harris also had four assists.
Cornell led 29-27 at halftime and built its biggest lead at 42-36 on a Mulloy jumper with 13:39 remaining.
The Rams shot 34.8 percent from the field and made 18-of-27 free throws. The Titans shot 40.0 percent from the floor and pressured Cornell into 29 turnovers.
Coming up – Cornell travels to play rival Coe (1-2) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, in Cedar Rapids. The Rams rolled to a 63-32 home win in last year's meeting with the Kohawks, who are picked second in the Iowa Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll.