The Loras College women's basketball team is into the semifinals of the 2013 IIAC Women's Basketball Tournament following their dramatic overtime win in the AWC over the Coe Kohawks, 69-65.
The Kohawks opened the first significant lead of the game, 14-7, after 6:30 and a 9-2 run. Then, after trailing 18-11, Loras went on a 14-0 run to take a 25-18 lead. Kelly Rogowski, Melissa Herrmann, and Katie Wheeler all chipped in on that run. Rachel Drees and Herrmann added late layups to give Loras a 31-24 lead heading into the locker room.
The second half provided six ties, two lead changes, and no winner as Coe were seven points better over the second 20 minutes on Tuesday night. Mary Halvorson sparked Coe in the second half, scoring 12 points on 5-for-11 shooting, and Megan Hayes had five points and six rebounds. Victoria May answered with six points of her own for Loras.
Tied at 52-52, senior Rachel Kerchefske knocked down a three-pointer with just over a minute to play to give Loras the late lead. The Kohawks answered with a three-pointer of their own from Kelsey Jipp to tie things up again. Loras went to the post for their second-to-last possession of regulation and Melissa Herrmann for a 57-55 lead. Coe answered with a pair of free throws setting up the Duhawks for the game's final possession of regulation.
Kelly Rogowski entered the front court and had a small window at the left elbow to get a shot off, but the effort was off line and the teams headed to overtime – with a trip to Indianola and the semifinals on the line.
While she may have been unable to win the game in regulation for Loras, Rogowski quickly put the team on her back and scored Loras' first seven points of the extra session. Her three-pointer gave Loras their largest lead of overtime, five points – at 64-59, halfway through the five minutes. Five more points came from the free throw line courtesy of Rogowski, Kerchefske, and Niki Rivera. Mackenzie Reed kept the Kohawks close down the stretch with four late points.
Rogowski finished with a team high 16 points. Herrmann added her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. May finished with eight points, three rebounds, and one assist of the bench. Halvorson and Hayes combined for 38 of Coe's 65 points on 15-of-25 shooting.
With the win, the Duhawks are headed to Simpson College on Thursday for the Iowa Conference semifinals. Simpson is the #1 seed and went 13-1 in the IIAC this season. This will be the Duhawks' eighth trip to the semifinals in the 11-year history of the tournament. It was also Loras' 18th win of the season, the most under head coach Justin Heinzen in his six seasons in charge of the Duhawks. Simpson won both regular season games over the Duhawks this year.