Vikings shoot down Cornell

Lawrence women's basketball action Kenya Earl
Kenya Earl (34) scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Lawrence's victory at Cornell.

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa -- The hot-shooting Lawrence University women's basketball team posted a 64-52 Midwest Conference victory over Cornell College on Friday at the Small Multi-Sport Center.

Lawrence shot 55.9 percent from the floor for the game, and that included 70 percent in the first half. The Vikings were 14-for-20 from the floor as they built a 36-21 lead at the break.

Kenya Earl posted a double-double for the Vikings (5-12, 2-9 MWC)with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Earl made a school-record 15 free throws and missed just once from the foul line while also hitting 4-of-8 shots from the floor. 

Shonell Benjamin added 14 points and six rebounds for Lawrence as she went 6-for-8 from the floor. Lawrence's Erin Hill picked up seven points and handed out a game-high five assists.

Rose Shimaoka led Cornell (5-10, 5-5) with 13 points.

Lawrence jumped on Cornell early as the Vikings raced out to an 11-2 lead. Benjamin scored six points in that stretch, and Hill got things started with a 3-pointer. Cornell rallied to take the lead at 19-17 in the second quarter, but the Vikings then went on another big scoring run.

The Vikings outscored Cornell 19-2 over the final 7:04 of the second quarter. Lawrence scored the first nine points of the run as Arianna Neumeyer got things started with a 3-pointer. 

Cornell cut the lead to 26-21 with a layup by Mo Kempiak, but Lawrence scored the final 10 points of the quarter. Liz Jonjak hit a 3-pointer to start that run, and Earl capped it with a 3-pointer to give Lawrence a 36-21 lead at the half.

The Rams finally started chipping away at Lawrence's advantage late in the third quarter and early in the fourth. Cornell trimmed the lead to 49-44 with 5:16 left in the game, but the Vikings rallied.

Earl did the damage by getting to the foul line, and she made 10 straight free throws over the final 3:47 to help seal the victory. Lawrence went 13-of-14 from the line during that stretch.

The Vikings were 22-of-24 from the line for the game.

The victory is the first for the Vikings over Cornell since the Rams rejoined the league in 2012, and that covers a span of 11 games.