LAKE FOREST, Ill. – One whale of a third quarter Saturday paved the way to another Midwest Conference championship for Cornell's women's basketball program.
The Rams secured at least a share of their third MWC regular-season title in five years with a 67-41 romp of Lake Forest. Cornell also captured loop crowns in 2012-13 and 2013-14 since returning to the conference.
Coach Brent Brase's squad (17-4 overall, 15-1 MWC) locked up the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage for the four-team MWC Tournament, to be held Feb. 24-25 in the Small Multi-Sport Center. St. Norbert and Ripon – both 13-3 in league play – clinched tourney berths on Saturday.
Cornell's first-round opponent will be Knox or Grinnell. Both teams are 10-6 with two games to go in the regular season.
The Rams actually trailed Lake Forest (5-16 overall, 4-12 MWC) the entire first half and were down 28-25 at the break. When the teams returned to the court, it was all Cornell for the next 20 minutes.
The Rams reeled off 15 unanswered points to start the third quarter – 13 coming from senior leaders Diamond Boyd (SR/Elk Grove Village, Ill.) and Sierra Bisso (SR/Wheaton, Ill.) – and quickly built a 40-28 advantage.
Cornell went on to outscore the Foresters, 30-4, during the third-quarter explosion which saw the home team make just one field goal. Bisso and Boyd accounted for 13 and 12 points, respectively, in the period and shared game-high honors with 20 points apiece.
Boyd grabbed 12 rebounds to complete her MWC-best 10th double-double of the campaign. Bisso drained 5-of-7 shots from 3-point range, giving her 61 on the season, the second-most ever by a Ram player.
Tal Neilly (JR/Windsor Heights, Iowa) pitched in nine points off the bench for the Rams, who overcame an 11-of-25 game from the foul line. Madie Rinehart (SR/Scottsdale, Ariz.) added six rebounds and three blocked shots.
Cornell once again won the turnover battle, 28-13. The Rams tallied 16 steals, with Boyd and Rose Shimaoka (FR/Honolulu, Hawaii) collecting four apiece.
Coming up – The Rams travel to play Beloit (6-15 overall, 4-12 MWC) at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a date at Monmouth Saturday, Feb. 18, in the regular-season finale.
|Cornell College 17-4 (15-1 MWC)||5||20||30||12||67|
|Lake Forest College 5-16 (4-12 MWC)||10||18||4||9||41|
|Feb. 11, 2017|
|Lake Forest, Ill.|
|Cornell College||Indv. Leaders||Lake Forest College|
|2 Players (#05,#11) - 20||Points||#32 Bridget Bilek - 9|
|#11 Diamond Boyd - 12||Rebounds||#03 Brittany Avonts - 12|
|#22 Haley Grana - 4||Assists||#41 Kara Norvet - 3|
|Cornell College||Team Statistics||Lake Forest College|
|36.9% (24 - 65)||Field Goals %||27.1% (13 - 48)|
|33.3% (8 - 24)||3 Point Field Goals %||11.1% (1 - 9)|
|44% (11 - 25)||Free Throws||60.9% (14 - 23)|
|17||2nd Chance Pts||8|