MOUNT VERNON – Two Midwest Conference wins last week by 71 total points helped catapult Cornell's women's basketball team several spots in the national rankings.
The Rams (17-1 overall, 12-1 MWC) jumped seven places to No. 14 in Tuesday's USA Today Sports Division III Top 25 Coaches' Poll. It marks the highest ranking in program history. Cornell made the biggest jump among all Top 25 teams and received 77 total points.
Cornell climbed four spots to No. 17 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll released Monday. The Rams earned 151 points. The new ranking in this poll is also a high-water mark for the program.
A complete list of both national rankings can be found at USA Today Sports Poll and D3hoops.com Poll.
Coach Brent Brase's Rams rebounded from their lone season defeat – 47-44 at St. Norbert Jan. 19 – with home blowouts over Knox (106-66) Wednesday and Ripon (69-38) Saturday. Cornell improved to 11-0 in the Small Multi-Sport Center, boosting its average victory margin to 23.3 points in home games.
Cornell ranks in the Top 30 in Division III in seven statistical team categories, including No. 4 in field goal percentage (45.4) and No. 5 in rebound margin (+12.9 rpg). The Rams stand 13th in scoring margin (+19.2 ppg), 14th in assists (16.9 apg), 15th in won-lost percentage (94.4), 24th in field goal percentage defense (31.9) and 30th in 3-point percentage (34.1).
The Rams hold a two-game lead over Monmouth (10-3 MWC) with five to go in the regular season. Cornell is seeking its first conference title in women's basketball since 1981-82.
One win shy of matching the school record, Cornell takes on Carroll (8-7, 7-5 MWC) Saturday in a key road game at 3 p.m. in Waukesha, Wis. The Rams edged the Pioneers, 64-61, at home on Dec. 11.