Thu, Jan. 16, 2014 - [Women's Basketball]
The Duhawks women's basketball team took on Iowa Conference opponent, Coe College, at home on Wednesday. Loras' lockdown defense, balanced offensive attack, and overall depth led them to a 56-51 win over the visiting Kohawks.
Loras successfully controlled the tempo and moved the ball around to jump out to an early lead. After junior, Hailey Varner split the lane and slipped a pass to freshman Lori Obendorf for an easy two, and a stellar drive from Kaitlin Phillips, Coe was forced to take a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, the Duhawks pesky defense forced the Kohawks to turn the ball over. Kathleen Cabrera pushed the ball up the court with a quick pass to Victoria May in the middle of the lane. May then threw a nice pass to Lauren Byrne cutting in from the wing for layup and a 19-9 edge with 10:06 to go in the first half.
The Kohawks answered on the other end, with a three pointer from Hannah Breitbach to end the Loras 13-4 run.
A series of fouls by the Duhawks combined with the Kohawks knocking down a few three pointers, tied the game at 24 with 6:01 to go in the half.
Coe took its first lead of the game, 27-24, on a three-pointer by Brooke Wheelwright with about three minutes left in the first half.
The teams continued to trade baskets for the rest of the half, with Loras holding a 32-29 lead at halftime.
The Kohawks would open the second half with a 12-5 run to take a 41-37 lead, their largest of the game, with 12:40 to play.
Kathleen Cabrera pulled the Duhawks within one on a three pointer on a pass from Kaitlin Phillips to spark a 7-0 run.
Coe continued to battle tying the game at 51 with 1:31 to play on a three pointer by Lindsey Jipp.
With 33 seconds to play, the Duhawks held a 53-51 edge forcing Coe to call a timeout.
Out of the timeout, the Kohawks set up Mickey Hansche for a three pointer but the attempt would bounce off the rim.
After grabbing a big defensive rebound, Obendorf was fouled and sent to the line. She missed the first long off the back iron. After a Loras timeout, Obendorf knocked down the second shot and gave the Duhawks a 54-51 lead with 13.6 seconds left in regulation.
Just after passing half court, Coe called a timeout to draw up a play for the game tying shot. Out of the timeout, senior Katie Wheeler intercepted the inbounds pass and consciously let time run before drawing a foul. Wheeler made both free throws to put the game out of reach and give Loras their third consecutive Iowa Conference win, 56-51.
Katie Langmeier led the Duhawks with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Kaitlin Phillips, Lauren Byrne, and Victoria May each added 9 points. Lori Obendorf grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
The Kohawks were led by Mickey Hansche with 17 points. Hansche made 5-7 shots from behind the arc.
The strong defensive play of the Duhawks held Coe to just 31.5% shooting from the field and forced them into 14 turnovers. Loras was able to capitalize on the Kohawk turnovers, cashing them in for 16 points.
Loras head coach, Justin Heinzen, was pleased with his team's performance but knows there is work to be done before Saturday's game.
"Tonight was a big home win against a Coe team that will be near the top of the league when it's all said and done. They're very talented and difficult to defend. There are still areas we have to improve and we'll work to patch them for Saturday" Heinzen said.
With the win the Duhawks improve to 8-6 overall and 3-0 in the Iowa Conference with the win. Loras returns to the AWC on Saturday, January 18th to take on Iowa Conference opponent Central College at 2:00 p.m