St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 22, 2019 – Sophomore Justin Hardy led all scorers with a season-high 26 points as the No. 7 ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team to a 93-79 win over Coe College in the opening round of the 36th Annual Lopata Classic Friday at the WU Field House in St. Louis.
WashU improved to 3-1 with the win, while Coe had its two-game win streak snapped and dropped to 3-2. WashU takes on Wisconsin Eau-Claire in the championship game on Saturday at 7 p.m. UWEC defeated Whitworth 77-75 in the first game on a runner by Cole Rabedeaux as time expired.
Hardy was 9-of-13 from the field and 9-of-14 from the free-throw line in the win. He also added seven rebounds and five assists. All five of WashU's starters scored in double figures.
Senior center Hank Hunter had a season-high 16 points and seven rebounds, while senior guard Matt Nester and senior forward DeVaughn Rucker each had 16 points each. Junior guard Jack Nolan added 10 points on a pair of three pointers.
WashU shot 47.8 percent (32-67) from the field and hit 21-of-28 from the free-throw line in the win. The Bears had a 42-14 advantage in the paint and outscored the Kohawks 18-6 in second-chance points.
Nester hit a pair of three-pointers as WashU scored the first 11 points of the game. Senior Jonathan Arenas scored on a lay-up to make it 15-3 as the Bears hit 5-of-6 from the field to open the contest.
Nester's third three made it 35-27, and then connected on his fourth-straight triple with 2:35 left which made it 44-37 at half. He had 14 first-half points on 4-of-4 three–point shooting.
Coe opened the half on an 11-4 run to tie the contest at 48.
A three-point play and a three-pointer by Hardy made it 54-51, but the Kohawks took their first lead of the game with 12:51 to play on a bucket by Ivan Morrow.
WashU answered with a 12-0 run to get the lead back to doubles figures (70-59), highlighted by threes from Nolan and Rucker. A thunderous two-handed dunk by Hardy with 4:44 left made it 82-69 and put the game out of reach.
Jacob Robertson lead Coe with 23 points, while Josh Schmitt had 19. The Kohawks hit 13-of-32 three-pointers (40.6%) and had 15 turnovers in the loss.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with Coe 6-0, and the teams are meeting for the first time since the 2014-15 season … The Bears had a season-high 19 assists in the win, and outrebounded Coe 42-31 … WashU is 63-9 all-time in the Lopata Classic.