CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Coe College women's basketball team was on a mission Saturday afternoon, as they downed Luther in the regular season finale 81-65. The Kohawks led by 34 with just over 10 minutes to play in the game.
Luther scored the first bucket of the game, but it was all Kohawks after that. With the game tied at three, Coe went on a 10-1 run and never trailed again. After four-straight points from the Norse, Coe led 21-12 with 10:32 to play in the first half. A layup by sophomore Mary Halvorson (Waterville, Iowa/Waukon) sparked a 20-2 run by the Kohawks, as they closed the run with 16-straight points. The lead would never get to single digits again. Coe led 41-14 with 2:26 left in the opening half before a 7-0 run by the Norse in just over a minute. A pair of free throws by senior Kelsey Jipp (Bettendorf, Iowa/Pleasant Valley) put Coe's lead back to 22, as they headed to halftime with a 43-21 lead.
Coe opened the second half with nine points in the first 1:47, increasing the lead to 52-21. A 9-2 run by the Norse cut the lead to 24 with 14:57 to play, but Coe had one final answer with a 14-4 run in the next 3:45 to take a 68-34 lead with 10:22 to play, the largest lead of the game. Luther would outscore Coe 31-13 the final 10 minutes of the game, including a 14-6 run in the last 4:44.
Senior Leslie Ware (Des Moines, Iowa/Johnston) finished with a team-high 16 points, leading three Kohawks in double figures. Ware hit four threes on the night, as she increased her total to 57 on the year. It is the fourth most in school history and a career-high for Ware. Freshman Megan Hayes (Bettendorf, Iowa/Bettendorf) added 13 points, while senior Kayla Waskow (Dunkerton, Iowa/Dunkerton) added 10 points. Waskow moved into third on the single-season scoring list with 385 points and now holds two of the top three spots. Jipp went over 300 points for her career, as she finished with nine points. Rachel Stenhaug led the Norse with 17 points, as she was 8-of-9 from the free throw line.
K. Waskow had a game-high 12 rebounds, while Hayes and Halvorson finished with eight and seven respectively. Senior Sarah Waskow (Dunkerton, Iowa/Dunkerton) tallied a career-high six assists as she made her first career start in her 87th game as a Kohawk. Ware added four assists, while K. Waskow and junior Lindsey Buckles (Davenport, Iowa/West) added three and two respectively. K. Waskow also had two blocked shots.
Coe held a 46-32 advantage in rebounds, while outscoring Luther 27-9 on second chance points. Coe also held a 30-16 advantage in the paint. Coe shot 47 percent for the game, while holding the Norse to 36.8 percent, including 22.2 percent shooting in the first half.
With the victory, the Kohawks clinched second place in the Iowa Conference standings. Coe will host a men's and women's semifinal doubleheader on Thursday. Coe will face the winner of the Dubuque/Cornell game. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Eby Fieldhouse.