MOUNT VERNON – Cornell's 21st-ranked women's basketball team shook off a weekend loss at St. Norbert and returned to its dominant form Wednesday night with a 106-66 drubbing of Knox in the Small Multi-Sport Center.
Coach Brent Brase's Rams (16-1 overall, 11-1 Midwest Conference), in pursuit of the program's first conference title since 1981-82, widened their lead to two games in the MWC race with six to play.
Cornell got help Wednesday from Lake Forest, which sprung a 52-34 upset over St. Norbert. St. Norbert and Monmouth are Cornell's closest challengers, both at 9-3 in league play.
The Rams erupted for 63 points in the second half and shot 57.7 percent for the game against Knox (6-10, 4-7 MWC). It was Cornell's highest offensive output since a near-identical 107-67 victory over the Prairie in the home opener last season.
Knox had no answer for Cornell's 6-foot-2 tandem of Camille Marie and Taylor Dicus, who combined for 19 field goals on 25 attempts. Marie netted a game-high 22 points and grabbed six rebounds. The senior from Marion climbed into 17th place on the MWC's all-time scoring list with 1,284 career points.
Dicus recorded a double-double with 21 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, seven on the offensive end. The sophomore shot 9-of-10 from the field and 3-of-3 from the foul line.
Senior guard Kathryn Schilling pitched in 14 points. Freshmen Maggie Hogen and Larissa Brewer both contributed 10 points off the bench. Brewer also had seven rebounds in just 14 minutes of work. Hogen collected six rebounds and a game-high six assists.
The Rams owned a whopping 62-32 advantage on the boards. The 62 rebounds were three shy of the school's single-game record.
Cornell outscored the Prairie Fire in the paint, 66-26.
The Rams opened a 43-22 lead by halftime while holding the guests to 6-of-37 shooting. Cornell padded its lead with a 24-5 run midway through the second half. Knox finished the game shooting 28.2 percent from the floor.
Coming up – Cornell carries an 11-game home winning streak into Saturday's contest against Ripon (8-9, 7-5 MWC) for the teams' only meeting of the regular season. Tipoff is 1 p.m.
The Red Hawks remained in the postseason hunt with a 67-42 road win Wednesday over Beloit.