Small College Sports

Comeback wins have Coe women's basketball surging toward postseason

Kohawks have won 5 of 6 games, including 4 in a row away from home

Luther's Kristen Elliott (33) looks to pass under pressure from Coe's Jackie Feldt (13) at a Coe College women's basketball game with Luther College at the Kohawk Arena in Cedar Rapdis on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Luther's Kristen Elliott (33) looks to pass under pressure from Coe's Jackie Feldt (13) at a Coe College women's basketball game with Luther College at the Kohawk Arena in Cedar Rapdis on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — It has become increasingly difficult to count the Coe women’s basketball team out of any game, no matter the deficit.

In the last three-plus weeks, the Kohawks faced three double-digit deficits in the second half of road games.

All three times, Coe won.

“It is just awesome to see their fight,” second-year Coe Coach Kayla Waskow said. “Obviously as a coach, you hope you don’t dig yourself a hole but our confidence to be able to get ourselves back in games has been good. … It is just good to see that they believe in it and keep playing no matter what the score is.”

Coe (15-9, 9-6 American Rivers Conference) has won five of its last six games overall, including four in a row on the road. The streak started on Jan. 23 at Central, where the Kohawks trailed by 16 points with 1:22 left in the third quarter and won 76-71 in overtime.

Two weeks later, Dubuque led Coe by 12 with 2:02 remaining in the third. The Kohawks closed the game with a 32-17 burst, capped by a game-winning 3-pointer from Iowa City High graduate Sydney Schroder at the buzzer.

The biggest comeback of all arrived Wednesday. Coe dug out of an 18-point hole with 2:31 left in the third quarter and won by a point, 74-73 over Nebraska Wesleyan

“The main thing is we don’t want to give up, we don’t want to lose,” said sophomore Jackie Feldt, who leads the team with 15.8 points per game. “So we just always continue to fight and try to do our best and come back in the game. We never give up on each other.”

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Feldt averaged 17.5 points in the last six contests, which has helped overcome the loss of starters Destiny Smith and Rylee Claussen to injury. Former Alburnett prep Taylor Huber replaced Claussen in the starting lineup against Nebraska Wesleyan and scored 13 points.

“Just being more aggressive,” said Huber, who also plays softball for the Kohawks. “Last year, I was more of a role player. Just trying to get rebounds and play good defense. So I think knowing that I can score and be more confident going to the basket.”

With a roster void of seniors, Coe has won 15 games for the first time since the 2015-16 season. The Kohawks have the opportunity to earn a home game in the conference tournament with a win in the regular-season finale on Saturday against Simpson at Kohawk Arena.

“I told our girls from the beginning of the year, this is not a rebuilding year,” Waskow said. “I don’t expect that and they believe that. We’ve won some close ones, we’ve lost some tough ones, but it just goes back to their fight and their belief.”

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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