CHICAGO, Ill. - The Rockford University men's basketball team (12-13, 11-9 NACC) fell 70-65 on the road Saturday afternoon to the Illinois Tech Scarlet Hawks (14-11, 11-9 NACC). The loss drops the Regents into a fourth-place tie with Illinois Tech. However, the Scarlet Hawks will receive the fourth-seed and Rockford the fifth-seed. The tiebreaker swung in Illinois Tech's favor because the two teams split the regular season series, but Illinois Tech had a better record (2-2 vs. 0-3) against the NACC Co-Champions, MSOE and CUW. Consequently, the first round game of the NACC Tournament between the Regents and Scarlet Hawks will be played at Illinois Tech on Wednesday, February 20 at 7 PM.
- Statistically the game was extremely tight in nearly every category. However, Illinois Tech was able to convert on 48.1% of its shot attempts compared to 38.7% for the Regents, which allowed the Scarlet Hawks to make one more field goal than the Regents despite taking ten less shot attempts. Illinois Tech also had a two-point edge at the free throw line. On the flip side, Rockford had a huge advantage in points in the paint (34-22) and a slight edge in points off turnovers (20-16).
- The Scarlet Hawks jumped out to an early 14-6 lead, their largest of the day, in the opening six minutes and 15 seconds of the game.
- Rockford then went on a 13-4 run of its own over the next five minutes and 43 seconds to take its first lead of the day at 19-18. Brandon Emerick (Elkhart, Ind.) led the charge with seven points, including the three-pointer that ended the run and gave the Regents the lead.
- The Regents and Scarlet Hawks traded baskets until the final minute of the half, when Illinois Tech scored seven straight points to take a 37-32 lead into the break.
- Illinois Tech would extend its lead back to as many as eight points with 12:43 remaining, before momentum began to swing in Rockford's favor.
- The Regents went on a 16-2 run over the next six minutes and 35 seconds to take their first lead since 1:15 remaining in the first half. Five different Regents scored during that span, led by five points from Talon Hardin (Rantoul, Ill.) and four points from Will Adams (Chicago, Ill.). Rockford's 57-51 lead was their largest of the game.
- The Regents' lead hovered around five points until the Scarlet Hawks scored seven straight points to retake the lead at 64-62 with 1:54 remaining.
- Unfortunately, Rockford was unable to get any closer, as Illinois Tech sealed the 70-65 win at the free throw line.
- Will Adams was the leading scorer for Rockford with 14 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block.
- Kivontay Shaw (Galesburg, Ill.) added 11 points on 3-of-8 shooting, a team-high 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
- Taylor Krocker (Portage, Wis.) had 11 points and 4 rebounds off the bench.
- Brandon Emerick finished with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including going 2-for-4 from three-point range. Emerick also added 4 steals, 2 assists and 1 rebound.
The RU men's basketball team travels to Illinois Tech for the first round of the NACC Tournament on Wednesday, February 20. Tip-off between the Regents and Scarlet Hawks is set for 7 PM.