GALESBURG, Ill. – The Midwest Conference first-place Rams got all they wanted Saturday afternoon, but came through in crunch time of a 56-53 overtime battle against upset-minded Knox in women's basketball action inside Memorial Gym.
Cornell (8-3 overall) stayed atop the conference standings at 6-0, surviving its closest league test thus far. The Rams are off to their best MWC start since opening 10-0 during a record-setting 2012-13 campaign.
Sierra Bisso (SR/Wheaton, Ill.) scored 20 of her game-high 23 points after intermission to help rally the Rams, who trailed 26-20 at halftime. The senior shooting guard knocked down five 3-point goals and also tallied five steals in a contest that was nip and tuck from the outset.
Diamond Boyd (SR/Elk Grove Village, Ill.) stuffed her stat line with 15 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and four steals. She sank the initial bucket in overtime, but Knox (6-5 overall, 3-3 MWC) erased the score moments later to tie it at 48-48.
Bisso stepped up with the next two field goals, giving the Rams a 52-48 advantage with 55 seconds remaining. A Prairie Fire 3-pointer sliced the margin to 54-53 with 21 seconds left.
Cornell's Haley Grana (JR/Belvidere, Ill.) drained two clutch free throws with eight seconds to go and ultimately sent the Rams off victorious. Knox misfired on a potential tying 3-point attempt just before the final horn.
Cornell's biggest lead was six points late in the third period. But the Prairie Fire never went away, and held a 44-43 lead with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. Bisso responded with a 3-pointer on the next possession. A Knox jumper tied it at 46-46 with 14 seconds left to force overtime.
The Rams hurried Knox into 35 turnovers and came away with a season-high 23 steals, one shy of the school record. Renee Poulos (JR/Arlington Heights, Ill.) helped the cause with four thefts.
Knox was led by Jarrelyn McCall's 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Coming up – Cornell travels to Wisconsin for two conference games next weekend. The Rams face Lawrence (2-9, 0-6 MWC) at 5:30 p.m. Friday, followed by a 1 p.m. contest Saturday, Jan. 14, against league contender Ripon (7-3, 5-1 MWC).
|Cornell College 8-3 (6-0 MWC)||13||7||17||9||10||56|
|Knox College 6-5 (3-3 MWC)||10||16||9||11||7||53|
|Jan. 7, 2017|
|Cornell College||Indv. Leaders||Knox College|
|#05 Sierra Bisso - 23||Points||#24 Naja Woods - 12|
|#11 Diamond Boyd - 11||Rebounds||2 Players (#23,#04) - 8|
|#11 Diamond Boyd - 4||Assists||#04 Jarrelyn McCall - 8|
|Cornell College||Team Statistics||Knox College|
|32.8% (21 - 64)||Field Goals %||38.3% (18 - 47)|
|19.4% (7 - 36)||3 Point Field Goals %||41.2% (7 - 17)|
|38.9% (7 - 18)||Free Throws||66.7% (10 - 15)|
|6||2nd Chance Pts||2|