ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University men's basketball team (9-10, 7-7 NACC) hosted the Dominican University Stars (4-15, 2-13 NACC) on Saturday afternoon. Rockford would be able to find success from the very begging as it continued to outshoot the Stars and cruise to an 88-69 victory. Rockford shot 52.9% from the floor while holding Dominican to just 36.6%. A large part of RU's success was its ability to convert from the free throw line. The Regents went a perfect 12-for-12 on the day from the charity stripe.
The first half would start with both teams exchanging buckets and playing hard defense to force contested shots. The Stars would sneak out to a 13-12 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the half. However, on the next possession freshman Brandon Emerick (Elkhart, Ind.) would come down the floor and find Kevin Diemer (Rockford, Ill.) who would knock down an open three. The big three would propel the Regents onto a 9-0 run to give RU a 21-13 lead with 10:30 remaining in the first half. The Stars would not go away as DU brought the game to within three points with just under 9 minutes to play. Rockford would catch a spark after an Andrew Squires (Pecatonica, Ill.) three that sent the Regents on an 11-3 run. Rockford extended its lead as Emerick would come down and hit from downtown with just 1:38 remaining to make the score 43-31. RU would tack on two more points after Tony Diemer (Rockford, Ill.) would convert on both of his shots from the line to give the Regents the lead 45-31 going into the half. A big reason for the halftime lead was Rockford's ability to force the Stars into taking contested shots, as Dominican shot 38.2% from the floor compared to Rockford's impressive 58.1%. Tony Diemer would lead all scorers at the half with 14 points.
Rockford would continue to pick up where it left off as RU opened the second half on a 9-4 run with 14:43 remaining in the game. Brandon Emerick would continue to play well as he came down the court to score an acrobatic layup. On the following Dominican possession Trae Blumhorst (Mendota, Ill.) would block a shot and find Emerick who would finish the layup and convert on the and-one. The Regents would continue to roll past the Stars as RU lengthened its lead by 23 as it was up 67-44 with 9:56 to play. Rockford did not let up as Brandon Emerick tallied 15 second half points to finish with 24 on the day tying his career-high and leading the Regents to a 88-69 victory over Dominican.
There were four Regents who found themselves in double-figures on the day. Brandon Emerick led all scorers with 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and a big come from behind block in the last minutes of the game. Tony Diemer tallied 21 points going 8-of 15 from the floor, 9 rebounds and an assist. Freshman Kevin Diemer recorded a double-double with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, 12 rebounds and 5 assists. It would be his third double-double in the last four games; including each of the last two contests. Taylor Krocker (Portage, Wis.) came off the bench to register 13 points shooting 6-for-10, 4 assists, and a rebound. Trae Blumhorst put together a nice game chalking up 8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals and 2 assists.
The Rockford University men's basketball team returns to action when it travels to Benedictine on Wednesday, January 31. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 PM.