Kohawks down league-leading Norse
DECORAH, Iowa - Neither team led by more than five in the first half, but it was Coe College that pulled away from league-leading, and defending Iowa Conference Champion, Luther Wednesday night. The 77-63 victory gave the Kohawks their first road win.
Luther jumped out to an 8-3 lead on six points from Tyler Wedemeier in the first 3:34 of the game. Coe tied the game at 13 after senior Kevin Gaster (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Jefferson) hit a 3-pointer and junior Garrett Cross (Spring Grove, Minn./Spring Grove) hit a pair of free throws. Coe took its first lead just under a minute later on back-to-back baskets by senior Jake Raney (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna) and freshman JT Vonderhaar (Bettendorf, Iowa/Assumption). With :48 to play in the opening half, junior David Mataloni (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale) hit a jumper to tie the game for the eighth time.
With 5:46 to play, Mataloni hit a jumper in the paint, igniting a 12-3 Coe run in the next 4:05 to put the game away. The Kohawks were a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line in the final 2:09 of the game.
Coe shot 11-of-24 (45.8%) in the second half, while holding the Norse to 7-of-26 (26.9%) shooting. For the game, the Kohawks were 23-of-24 from the charity stripe, including a 19-for-19 second half.
Mataloni led four Kohawks in double figures with 21 points. Sophomore Andrew Wirth (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls) added 16 points on 4-of-7 3-point shooting. Light contributed 12 points, while Cross had 10 points, all from the free throw line. Dane Larson led the Norse with 16 points on 5-of-17 shooting.
Light had seven rebounds for the Kohawks, while Vonderhaar grabbed five. Mataloni added three assists and three steals.
The win was the seventh-straight for the Kohawks, as they improved to 10-5 overall and 4-2 in Iowa Conference play. Coe will host Buena Vista Saturday on Alumni Day. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Eby Fieldhouse.