WBB: Cornell Women Roll To NCAA Second Round

By Douglas Miles and Scott Saville, TV9 Sports

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa – The Cornell home crowd roared as the public address announcer introduced Midwest Conference Player of the Year Camille Marie, only to have senior Kathryn Schilling run out instead.

If this introductory mix-up revealed the Rams' status as NCAA tournament first-timers, their play on the court did not.

Host Cornell utilized a dominant 58-30 rebounding advantage and cruised to a 76-54 win over St. Scholastica (Minn.) Friday night in an opening round game of the NCAA Division III women's basketball tournament.

"I'm just happy for them because even if you get to play in the NCAA tournament, not many teams get to experience the home atmosphere," Cornell head coach Ben Brase said. "This is just something that not only these players, but the rest, they'll remember for the rest of their lives."

With only one starter listed above 5-foot-8, St. Scholastica was routinely limited to one-shot possessions by the 6-foot-2 tandem of Marie and sophomore Taylor Dicus.

Dicus led the Rams with 14 rebounds, while Marie added seven to go wither her 17 points as the Rams surrendered just nine offensive rebounds the entire game.

"Like coach says, he puts a lot of emphasis on getting a body, getting to the glass," Dicus said. "It's nice that you're taller, but you can't always use that excuse. You have to be just as athletic and using our butts to box out, and just get them out."

Six 3-pointers in the first half kept St. Scholastica (13-15) in the game early, including a 23-footer by Mariah Hovick at the buzzer to pull within 37-29.

Cornell broke the game open midway through the second half on an assist into the paint from Schilling to freshman Kellie Kuzmanic for two of her 11 points, capping an 8-0 burst to put Cornell up 55-36.

"In the end it turned out the way I thought it would," Brase said. "Our height inside, our strength inside and our balance, perimeter shooting, wore them down."

Sophomore guard Rikki Mulloy led the Rams with 19 points, including three 3-pointers.

"It was a great game, great win," Mulloy said. "We've been preparing for this all season."

The Rams, now 25-1 and ranked 10th in the USA Today coaches' poll, No. 12 by d3hoops.com, advance to tonight's second-round game against St. Thomas (Minn.), an upset 64-62 winner over fourth-ranked Calvin College.

"Well, I watched film on them the last couple days, and obviously watching them today," Brase said. "They're a good team. They're very balanced, they're athletic. It will be a really good opponent, good contest for us."

AT SMALL MULTI-SPORT CENTER

ST. SCHOLASTICA (54): Danica Schellbach 5-16 8-10 19, Elena Huber 3-6 1-2 9, Mariah Hovick 5-9 3-4 17, Kayla Heisler 0-5 0-0 0, Erin Frase 1-9 0-2 2, Holly Peterson 0-4 0-0 0, Brittani Brennan 1-4 0-0 3, Sammy Doucette 1-3 1-2 4, Haley Hoyer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-57 13-20 54.

CORNELL (76): Rikki Mulloy 6-15 4-5 19, Kellie Kuzmanic 4-9 1-2 11, Kathryn Schilling 2-6 0-0 5, Taylor Dicus 1-4 6-6 8, Camille Marie 8-13 1-2 17, Kelly Oeltjenbruns 0-0 0-0 0, Leonie de Jonge 1-1 0-0 2, Chelsea Harris 1-5 0-0 3, Maggie Hogen 0-1 0-0 0, India Pearce 1-6 0-0 3, Larissa Brewer 4-8 0-0 8. Totals 28-68 12-15 76.

Halftime - Cornell 37, St. Scholastica 29. 3-point goals - St. Scholastica 9-24 (Hovick 4-4, Huber 2-4, Brennan 1-2, Doucette 1-2, Schellbach 1-3, Frase 0-1, Heisler 0-5), Cornell 8-22 (Mulloy 3-8, Kuzmanic 2-4, Pearce 1-1, Schilling 1-3, Harris 1-5, Marie 0-1). Rebounds - St. Scholastica 30 (Schellbach 7), Cornell 58 (Dicus 14). Assists – St. Scholastica 9 (Hovick 4), Cornell 18 (Kuzmanic 8). Steals - St. Scholastica 7 (Schellbach 2, Frase 2), Cornell 5 (Schilling 2). Total fouls – St. Scholastica 13, Cornell 16. Fouled out – none. Turnovers - St. Scholastica 10, Cornell 15.
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