CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Junior David Mataloni (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale) hit a 3-pointer with :04.5 to play, sending the game to overtime, before Coe outscored the Norse 20-13 in the extra frame, for the 78-71 win, clinching the league title.
The two teams went back-and-forth in the first half until junior Nathan Joens (Swisher, Iowa/Xavier) hit a 3-pointer and sophomore Andrew Wirth (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls) hit three-straight free throws to give Coe a 17-11 lead with 10:03 left in the first half. Luther tied the game with a 6-0 run and a layup by Dane Larson with 2:33 left in the first half. Coe led 24-23 at the break.
Luther hit back-to-back jumpers in the first minute of the second half to take a 27-24 lead, but Coe answered with a 6-0 run to regain the lead. With 15:14 to play, Brian Nnaoji hit a layup to spark a 9-0 run by the Norse in the next 2:26, as Luther led 41-33 with 12:48 to play. It was the largest lead of the game for the Norse. Coe was able to cut the lead to one with 3:28 to play and 2:26 to play, but Luther's John Androus hit four free throws in less than :13 to to put the Luther lead back to five with 1:45 to play.
With :29 to play, Wirth hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 56-55. After free throws by Dane Larson and Tim Merritt, Coe trailed by three with :17 to play. With :04.5 on the clock, Mataloni hit a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime. Prior to the shot, Mataloni, Coe's leading scorer, was just 1-for-13 from the field and 0-for-4 from 3-point range.
Junior Seth Light (Carlisle, Iowa/Carlisle) hit a pair of free throws just :13 into overtime to give Coe a 60-58 lead. On the next two scores, Light threw down two monster dunks that sent the crowd of 1,182 at Eby Fieldhouse into a frenzy, as the Kohawks took a 64-58 lead with 2:47 to play. A pair of free throws from junior Garrett Cross (Spring Grove, Minn./Spring Grove) and a jumper from Mataloni gave Coe a 68-58 lead with 1:34 to play.
Luther's Michael Crocker hit a layup to cut the lead to eight, but four-straight free throws from Mataloni and Joens gave Coe a 72-60 lead with :58 to play, its largest lead of the game. Luther scored a layup at the buzzer, but the outcome was already decided as the Kohawks finished with a 78-71 win.
Light led the Kohawks with a game-high 22 points. Wirth added 13 points, while Mataloni and Cross each had 11. Joens finished with a game-high 10 rebounds, breaking his previous career best of seven. Light grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots, as he moved into a tie for fourth on the career blocked shots list with 65. Androus led the Norse with 22 points, as he was 14-of-19 from the free throw line.
Freshman JT Vonderhaar (Bettendorf, Iowa/Assumption) and Mataloni led Coe with two assists, a career-high for Vonderhaar.
The Kohawks will be the number one seed in next week's Iowa Conference Tournament. After a bye on Tuesday, Coe will host either fourth-seeded Central or fifth-seeded Luther. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m., following the women's semifinal game.