DE PERE, Wis. – Cornell's remarkable unbeaten run ended at Game No. 16 Saturday afternoon in a tough venue against perennial Midwest Conference power St. Norbert.
The Rams, ranked as high as No. 17 in the national polls, finally met their match in a 47-44 setback at Schuldes Sports Center, where the Green Knights have now won 48 of their last 49 home games in MWC regular-season play.
Despite the fall, Cornell (15-1 overall, 10-1 MWC) remains one game ahead of three-time defending MWC champion St. Norbert (12-4, 9-2 MWC) atop the conference standings with seven games to go. The teams split the regular-season series, with Cornell coasting to a 63-42 win on Dec. 1.
The Rams were held to a season-low 32.1 percent shooting – including 2-of-15 from long range – but still had their chances in a game that was tied with less than two minutes to play. Cornell, which trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half, battled all the way back and evened the score at 42-42 on a bucket by Taylor Dicus with 3:37 remaining.
St. Norbert regained the lead on a Tasha Giese 3-pointer with 1:40 to go, and made it 47-42 on a bucket at the one-minute mark. Senior Camille Marie dropped in two free throws that pulled the Rams to within 47-44 with 44 seconds remaining.
Cornell got a stop on the defensive end and called timeout with 10 seconds to go. A game-tying 3-pointer by Kellie Kuzmanic was off the mark and time expired.
Marie paced the Rams with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting and eight rebounds. Dicus and Kuzmanic were the team's next-highest scorers with six points apiece. Dicus collected a game-high 10 rebounds, four on the offensive end.
Senior guard Kathryn Schilling reached a milestone with her 200th career steal, to go with 208 career assists. The Dubuque native joined Marni Chandlee (361 assists, 237 steals) as the only Rams in school history to tally 200 steals and 200 assists in a career.
St. Norbert never trailed in this game, taking a 28-21 lead into intermission and stretching the margin to 36-23 with 15:24 to go in the second half. Cornell charged back with a 15-4 spurt over a 10-minute stretch, but couldn't get over the top.
The Rams beat St. Norbert on the boards, 37-28. The Green Knights shot 41.3 percent from the floor, and were led by Krista Hawkinson's game-high 18 points.
Coming up – Cornell plays host to Knox (6-9, 4-6 MWC) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 in the Small Multi-Sport Center. The Rams won the first meeting, 80-60, on Dec. 4 in Galesburg, Ill.
Knox is coming off a 90-54 home win Saturday over Lawrence.