DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Rockford University women's basketball team (1-8) lost a hard fought game, 62-48, to a very talented Centre College (7-1) team on Tuesday afternoon. The Regents played extremely well for the vast majority of the game outscoring the Colonels by a combined score of 38-34 over three quarters of play. Unfortunately Centre dominated the second quarter outscoring Rockford 28-10, which ultimately was the difference in the game. The Colonels were especially dominant on the boards, outrebounding Rockford 44-31, which led to 15-3 advantage in second chance points.
After quickly falling behind 5-0, Rockford dug in and began to take control. The Regents used stifling defense over a near 7-minute span to go on a 10-0 run and grab a 5-point lead late in the opening period. Rockford used a well-balanced attack during that run as no player scored more than three points. The duo of Linzy Keller (Rockford, Ill.) and Nicole Silvers (Byron, Ill.) propelled the charge, as both drained their first three-point attempt of the game. Centre would cut the RU lead down to a single point before Maddy Pearson (Peru, Ill.) connected on a layup in the closing minute to extend the Regents' lead back to three points heading into the second quarter.
Rockford opened the second quarter strong with a basket just 8 seconds in to retake a 5-point lead before Centre took over. The Colonels began to catch fire from the floor and used a 17-2 run to take a 30-18 lead with just over 3 minutes remaining in the first half. Centre then closed the half with a 5-0 run over the final 1:33 to take a 37-22 lead into the break.
Centre continued to build on its lead early in the third quarter as the Colonels extended it to a game-high 22 points at the 5:54 mark. However from that moment forward, the Regents began to slowly chip away at the lead. Rockford outscored the Colonels 7-2 over the remainder of the quarter as the Regents entered the fourth trailing 51-34. Tajanae Key (Glendale Heights, Ill.) led the way with 3 points, while Katie Hart (Davis Junction, Ill.) and Virginia Reed (Rockford, Ill.) each chipped in 2 points. Unfortunately the Regents were unable to get much closer, falling by a final score of 62-48.
The Regents continued to use a balanced attack on the offensive side of the court. Nicole Silvers was the team's leading scorer with 9 points, 1 rebound and 1 steal. Linzy Keller finished with 8 points and 1 block, while Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) had a career-high 8 points and 2 rebounds. Senior Tajanae Key had yet another solid all-around game with 5 points, a game-high 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. Phyllis Woodard (Rockford, Ill.) gave Rockford a spark off the bench with 6 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
The RU women's basketball team returns to the court on Wednesday, December 20 against Lasell. Tip-off is set for 1 PM in Daytona Beach, Florida.