MOUNT VERNON – Cornell set a program record for free throw percentage in a game, but came up short in a Midwest Conference men's basketball shootout with Lawrence, 97-90, Saturday afternoon in the Small Multi-Sport Center.
The Rams (8-13 overall, 7-9 MWC) made their first 22 foul shots and finished 28-of-29 from the line, good for a 96.6 percent clip. They entered the contest ranked sixth in Division III at 76.2 percent, an average now at 77.0.
Lawrence (11-10, 9-7 MWC) sizzled from the stripe as well, hitting 25-of-27 foul shots (92.6 percent). The Vikings made their last 18 free throws of the game, including 10 in the final minute to prevent a Ram rally.
Cornell's Nick Bobb tossed in a career-high 21 points, going 11-of-12 from the foul line. The sophomore forward converted an inside bucket that pulled the Rams to within 81-79 with 3:28 to play. But Lawrence scored on its final six possessions to secure the road win.
Both teams filled it up from the perimeter, combining for 22 three-point goals. Joey Guth and Reggie Greenwood both hit three three-pointers for the Rams, who finished 10-of-21 from beyond the arc. Guth led the team with 22 points. Greenwood netted 19.
The Vikings cashed in 12 three-pointers, highlighted by Tyler Mazur's blazing 8-of-11 effort from long distance. Mazur came off the bench to score 30 points, including 23 in the first half.
Trailing by seven points late in the first half, Cornell charged back with three-pointers from Guth, Greenwood and Anthony Blashewski on consecutive possessions that helped the Rams tie it at 49-49 heading into the break. The Rams were held to 37.0 percent shooting in the second half, compared to 57.1 in the opening 20 minutes.
Bobb grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Greenwood and Blashewski both dished out four assists. Freshman Ben Knake contributed eight points off the bench with a pair of three-pointers.
Coming up – Cornell travels to face MWC co-leader Grinnell (16-4, 13-3 MWC) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Rams look to avenge a 119-117 home loss to the Pioneers in an early-January game decided on a last-second shot.
The Rams close the season Saturday, Feb. 16 at home against Beloit (11-10, 9-7 MWC).