MOUNT VERNON – Ripon's women's basketball team surged into the Small Multi-Sport Center Saturday on a five-game winning streak. The Red Hawks stumbled out of town with their most lopsided loss of the season.
The 21st-ranked Rams dominated on the defensive end and senior Camille Marie reached another scoring milestone in a 69-38 Midwest Conference rout. It was Cornell's 12th consecutive home win, and sixth victory of at least 30 points this campaign.
Cornell (17-1 overall, 12-1 MWC) remained in firm control in the conference race, two games ahead of a Monmouth club (10-3 MWC) the Rams already swept this season. Defending MWC champion St. Norbert, which lost at Knox Saturday, fell three games off the pace at 9-4.
Marie poured in a game-high 20 points on 9-of-13 field goals. The 6-foot-2 post became the 15th women's player in MWC history to score 1,300 points in a career. Marie leads all active players in the conference with 1,305 points in 89 games.
Cornell opened the game on a 20-6 run and took a 29-13 lead into intermission. Ripon (8-10, 7-6 MWC) did not record its 10th made field goal until eight minutes remained in the game. The Rams shot 51.7 percent from the field in the second half.
Sophomore Rikki Mulloy pitched in 14 points to go with three assists and a pair of steals. The Rams got eight points apiece from Kellie Kuzmanic, Chelsea Harris and India Pearce. Taylor Dicus grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Kathryn Schilling distributed five assists, and Kuzmanic added five boards.
Harris collected four of the team's 11 steals. The Rams forced the guests into 22 turnovers, while committing just 10, a season low.
Both teams finished with 33 rebounds. Cornell, ranked fourth nationally in rebound margin (+13.7 rpg), had outrebounded every opponent this season up to that point.
Ripon was held to 31.9 percent shooting in the game, and finished 3-of-14 from beyond the arc. The Rams hit seven 3-pointers, the seventh time this season they've reached that mark.
Coming up – Coach Brent Brase's Rams will shoot for win No. 18 – which would tie the school record – against Carroll (8-7, 7-5 MWC) at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 in Waukesha, Wis. Cornell was pushed in a tight 64-61 win over the Pioneers on Dec. 11 in Mount Vernon.