PLYMOUTH, Wis. - The Rockford University men's basketball team (12-12, 11-8 NACC) dropped a heartbreaker, 73-70, on the road Thursday night to the Lakeland University Muskies (11-13, 9-10 NACC). Thursday's game was played within a nine-point margin, featured 14 ties, 12 lead changes and ultimately came down to one final shot in the closing seconds. Unfortunately, Rockford's potential game-tying three with four seconds remaining was off the mark, allowing the Muskies to escape with the win.
- After falling behind 3-0 in the opening moments of the game, Rockford scored six straight points to grab a 6-3 advantage. Senior Will Adams (Chicago, Ill.) led the charge with four consecutive points to close out the 6-0 Regent run.
- The RU lead was short lived, as the Muskies answered right back with an 8-2 run of their own, to retake the lead at 11-8.
- With Rockford still trailing midway through the half, RU senior Talon Hardin (Rantoul, Ill.) scored five of his team's next seven points, giving Rockford a 17-15 lead with 9:05 remaining.
- Unfortunately, the Muskies used a 12-5 run over the next 4 minutes and 15 seconds to take their largest lead of the night at 27-22.
- Rockford tied the game at 32-32 with just over a minute remaining, but the Muskies connected on the final bucket of the half to take a 34-32 lead into the break.
- The Regents used a 7-0 run early in the second half to grab a 45-41 lead, their largest of the game. Tony Diemer (Rockford, Ill.) scored five of the seven points, including a three to start the run and a layup to cap it off.
- Over the next nine minutes and 46 seconds there were seven ties and seven lead changes with neither team leading by more than four points.
- With four minutes and 15 seconds remaining and the game tied at 68-68, Lakeland knocked down a triple to make it a 71-68 game.
- The Muskies would then extend their lead to a game-high five points at 73-68 with two minutes and ten seconds left in the second half.
- Rockford was able to make it one possession game following a Talon Hardin steal and made layup with exactly 30 seconds remaining.
- The Regents then forced a turnover with 20 seconds left but gave the ball right back to the Muskies five seconds later.
- Rockford then fouled sending the Muskies to the line with 15 seconds left in regulation.
- Lakeland proceeded to miss the front end of the one-and-one, giving the Regents one final chance to tie the game. Unfortunately, Rockford's three-point attempt was off the mark, as Lakeland held on for the 73-70 win.
- Tony Diemer finished with a team-high 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block.
- Talon Hardin added 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 1 block off the bench.
- Will Adams tallied 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 assist.
- Kivontay Shaw (Galesburg, Ill.) had 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting, a team-high 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist and 1 block.
The Rockford University men's basketball team will close out its regular season on Saturday, February 16 at Illinois Tech. Tip-off is set for 4:15 PM.
Unofficial NACC Tournament Scenarios:
(Please keep in mind these are not yet confirmed by the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference and are subject to change)
- If Rockford wins on Saturday, Rockford clinches the third seed and has a home game next Wednesday in the opening round of the NACC Tournament.
- If Aurora loses on Saturday, Rockford clinches the third or fourth seed and has a home game next Wednesday in the opening round of the NACC Tournament.
- If Rockford loses and Aurora wins on Saturday, Rockford would be on the road as the fifth or sixth seed next Wednesday in the opening round of the NACC Tournament.