DUBUQUE, Iowa - The Rockford University men's basketball team fell 102-83 on Wednesday evening to the undefeated University of Dubuque Spartans (5-0). The Spartans lit the nets on fire from start to finish, shooting an incredible 60.9% from the floor and a blistering 55.9% from 3-point range. Comparatively, Rockford hit on 43.3% of its shots from the floor and 38.1% from long range. One of the major deciding factors in the game was the Spartans' ability to connect on shots from beyond the arc, making 19 3-pointers compared to just eight for the Regents.
Rockford never led as the Spartans stormed out of the gates in the opening moments of the game. Dubuque hit its first three shots en route to taking a quick 11-0 lead just over three minutes into the game. Fortunately the Regents were able to weather the early storm and work their way back into the game, scoring nine of the next twelve points to pull within five at 14-9. Four different Regents contributed during the run led by three points from junior forward Tony Diemer (Rockford, Ill.). The game went back-and-forth for the remainder of the half as the hot-shooting Spartans would push their lead to double-figures on multiple occasions only to see the Regents chop it back down. Rockford got as close as 6 points with 3:45 left before halftime thanks in large part to an 8-2 run over a 49 second span. Freshman Brandon Emerick (Elkhart, Ind.) scored five straight points before Ben Weber (South Beloit, Ill.) drained one of his four 3-pointers to make it a 40-34 game. However the Spartans closed the half strong and took a 52-43 lead into the intermission.
The second half seemed to get off to a good start for the Regents as Rockford hit its first three shots out of the break to once again pull back within 6 points. Will Adams (Chicago, Ill.) and Ben Weber each knocked down a three to lead the charge in the opening 90 seconds to keep Rockford within striking distance. Unfortunately things quickly took a turn for the worse as Dubuque went on a 12-0 run over the next four minutes to leap out to a commanding 69-51 lead. The Spartans extended their lead to as many as 26 points before ultimately winning by a final score of 102-83.
Rockford got the bulk of its scoring from a trio of players. Ben Weber led Rockford with a season-high 18 points, a team-high 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Weber also seemed to find his touch from beyond the arc as he drained four of his seven 3-point attempts. Junior transfer Taylor Krocker (Portage, Wis.) played very well recording 17 points, a team-high 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist. Junior guard Will Adams scored in double-figures for the fourth time in as many games. Adams finished with 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting including going 2-of-5 from downtown.
The RU men's basketball team opens NACC play on Saturday, November 25 at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Tip-off is set for 2:00 PM.