KENOSHA, Wis. - The Rockford University men's basketball team (1-1) dropped its first game of the season, 86-66 to the very talented Carthage College Red Men (1-0). Both teams shot the ball well from the floor with Carthage connecting on exactly 50.0% of its shots, while Rockford hit 40.7% of its field goal attempts. The difference in the game ultimately came down to the Red Men's ability to connect from beyond the arc. Carthage outscored Rockford by 24 points from 3-point range, draining 14 threes compared to 6 threes for Rockford. Despite the loss, Rockford did a good job rebounding the ball and scoring points off the bench. The Regents held a massive 43-20 advantage in bench points and outrebounded the Red Men 36-34.
The game got off to a bit of slow start as neither team seemed to be able to find its rhythm early on. Senior Trae Blumhorst (Mendota, Ill.) broke the scoreless tie just over a minute and a half in when he tipped in a missed shot to give his team an early 2-0 lead. However the RU lead did not last long as Carthage promptly went on a 12-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 10-point lead. The Red Men would extend their advantage to as many as 15 points before an RU timeout helped propel the Regents on a 9-0 run of their own. Junior transfer Taylor Krocker (Portage, Wis.) provided a much needed spark off the bench scoring 7 straight points to help pull Rockford back within 6 at 30-24. Unfortunately the Regents were unable to get any closer as the Red Men responded with 5 straight points en route to taking a 45-33 lead into the half.
Rockford was never able to significantly cut into the Carthage lead in the second half as the Red Men came out of the gates on fire. Carthage hit on its first six shot attempts including connecting on four straight 3-pointers to push its lead to at the time a game-high 20 points. The Red Men would extend their lead to as many as 25 points before ultimately finishing with an 86-66 win.
The star of the game on Friday night was junior forward Taylor Krocker. Krocker was magnificent off the bench scoring a game-high 23 points. The junior was nearly unstoppable for much of the day, draining 8 of his 13 shot attempts from the floor, while also going 6-of-7 from the free throw line. He rounded out his stat line with 3 rebounds and 1 assist.
Will Adams (Chicago, Ill.), Kevin Diemer (Rockford, Ill.), Trae Blumhorst, Tony Diemer (Rockford, Ill.) and Brandon Emerick (Elkhart, Ind.) all contributed as well. Adams finished with 10 points, a game-high 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Kevin Diemer and Brandon Emerick played well off the bench with 9 and 8 points respectively. Blumhorst had a solid all-around game with 6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks and 1 assist. Tony Diemer recorded 7 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal.
The RU men's basketball team returns to the court on Saturday, November 18 at Carthage College against Great Lakes Christian. Tip-off is set for 2 PM at Tarble Arena.