Fourth-quarter run sinks Lawrence's chance for win at Cornell

Lawrence women's basketball action Shonell Benjamin
Lawrence's Shonell Benjamin scored a team-high 17 points at Cornell.

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa -- A fourth-quarter scoring run proved decisive Saturday as the Lawrence University women's basketball team dropped a 71-61 Midwest Conference game to Cornell College at the Small Center.

Lawrence was down 61-53 early in the fourth quarter when the Rams scored eight consecutive points to pull away.

Shonell Benjamin led Lawrence with 17 points and tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds. Cornell held Lawrence star Kenya Earl to just 10 points, and Earl also grabbed eight rebounds. KJ Davis added nine points for the Vikings (5-18, 2-14 MWC).

Anne Visser came off the bench to lead Cornell (13-8, 10-5) with 19 points.

Cornell led 39-32 at the half, but the Rams couldn't shake Lawrence in the third quarter. Delaney Brooks hit a 3-pointer for Lawrence to cut Cornell's lead to 45-40 before the Rams pushed the lead back to double digits.

Benjamin's layup with 15 seconds left in the third trimmed the lead to 59-51 heading into the fourth. The teams traded baskets to open the final quarter as Davis' jumper cut the margin to 61-53. Cornell then got a three-point play from Visser, a 3-pointer from Mya Johnson and a Rose Shimoaka layup to pull out to a 69-53 advantage.

Lawrence didn't get closer than the final margin after that.

The Vikings got off to a good start, led by as many as six points in the first period and were up 18-14 heading to the second quarter. Cornell grabbed the lead early in the second, but a 3-pointer from Lawrence's Ashley Batac trimmed the lead to 33-31. Cornell hit four of its last five shots from the floor in the second quarter to post a seven-point lead at the half.