Rams fall 88-80 in tournament semifinal
News Photo
Monmouth College
Women's Basketball - Fri, Feb. 28, 2014

DE PERE, Wis. – Cornell's quest for a second straight Midwest Conference Women's Basketball Tournament title ended abruptly Friday with an 88-80 semifinal loss to third-seeded Monmouth in Schuldes Sports Center.

The second-seeded Rams (20-4) were crowned MWC co-champions in the regular season and carried a 12-game winning streak into the tournament. Cornell's last defeat was back on Jan. 4 to the same Fighting Scots squad in Monmouth, Ill.

Cornell, a 2013 NCAA qualifier, now can only hope for an at-large berth to the national tournament. The NCAA Division III Selection Show is at 1:30 p.m. (Iowa time) on ncaa.com. The Rams entered the week ranked No. 8 in the Central Region.

Monmouth (19-5) advances to Saturday's MWC Championship to face the winner of Friday's second semifinal between No. 1 seed St. Norbert (19-4) and No. 4 seed Carroll (15-8).

The Fighting Scots, who lost to Cornell in last year's MWC Tournament Final, shot lights out from the foul line (32-of-36) and used a 9-0 run down the stretch to upend the Rams. The loss moved the Rams to 35-4 against conference foes since rejoining the MWC last season.

Cornell trailed 67-60 before charging back to tie it at 69-69 on a pair of Kellie Kuzmanic free throws with 4:06 remaining. Moments later, two Rikki Mulloy foul shots brought Cornell within 73-72 with 2:23 to go.

Monmouth ran off nine unanswered points to build an 82-72 with less than a minute to play. The Fighting Scots sank six straight free throws to close it out.

Mulloy – who hit 11-of-11 free throws – and Kuzmanic paced the Rams with 19 points apiece, while Diamond Boyd netted 11. Junior Taylor Dicus finished with nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds. The junior center fouled out with 2:08 remaining and the Rams down 75-72.

Maggie Hogen and Caitlin Bisinger each scored seven points off the Ram bench. Hogen and Kuzmanic added seven rebounds apiece. Boyd had five boards and three assists.

The Rams hung within 45-43 at intermission despite 15 first-half turnovers. Cornell finished the game with 23 turnovers, to Monmouth's 16. The Rams held a 45-38 advantage on the boards.

Cornell shot 37.1 percent from the field and hit 28-of-38 from the foul line. Monmouth shot 42.2 percent from the floor.

Jacquice led five Fighting Scots scorers in double figures with 19 points, behind 13-of-15 foul shooting.

Monmouth College 19-5454388
Cornell College 20-4433780
Feb. 28, 2014
De Pere, Wis. (Schuldes Sports Center)
Attendance: 260
Monmouth CollegeIndv. LeadersCornell College
#14 Jacquice Cooper - 19Points 2 Players (#15,#32) - 19
#10 Kaley Corban - 6Rebounds #40 Taylor Dicus - 15
#22 Marla Willard - 4Assists 2 Players (#11,#32) - 3
Monmouth CollegeTeam StatisticsCornell College
42.2% (27 - 64) Field Goals % 37.1% (23 - 62)
40% (2 - 5) 3 Point Field Goals % 24% (6 - 25)
88.9% (32 - 36) Free Throws 73.7% (28 - 38)
38Rebounds 45
15Assists 12
16Turnovers 23
162nd Chance Pts 19