ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University women's basketball team (4-8, 2-5 NACC) hosted the Marian University Sabres (2-10, 0-7 NACC) on Wednesday night. Rockford started the night off strong and never looked back. The Regents controlled the tempo of the game as RU never trailed nor were tied throughout the duration of the contest. Rockford saw its largest lead with one-minute remaining in the second quarter as RU led by as many as 17 points. Marian outshot Rockford 38.0% compared to 30.2% despite falling in the match 57-50. A key factor was the bench play as RU's bench outscored Marian 15-8.
The first half went as Rockford had hoped as the Regents came out and took a commanding 32-19 lead over the Sabres. The Regents outscored MU in the first quarter 17-9 as well as the second 15-10. During that span it was junior Nicole Silvers (Byron, Ill.) and sophomore Linzy Keller (Rockford, Ill.) who combined for 23 points to give Rockford the lead going into halftime. Silvers recorded 13 points while Keller had 10 of her own, while shooting an astounding 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Another edge for the Regents was its ability to force turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. RU caused Marian to turn the ball over 15 times in the first half.
The second half would be a much closer affair as Marian came out and outscored Rockford 13-8 in the third quarter. Silvers would find herself in foul trouble late in the third quarter that would force her to go to bench. Despite Marian bringing it within 5 with 2 minutes left Katlyn Fiorucci (Machesney Park, Ill.) would hit a free throw as well as a last second Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) layup to give Rockford an 8 point lead going into the fourth. The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth battle for both teams. Marian was able to bring it to within one off a Rachel Serchen three-pointer with just a minute to play. However, buckets from Keller and Silvers would help secure the win as the Regents came away with a 57-50 win.
Rockford had 9 of its 10 players record points on the night. Nicole Silvers led the way scoring a game-high 19 points and 3 rebounds. Linzy Keller chalked up 13 points shooting 3-for-6 from downtown. Senior Tajanae Key (Glendale, Heights, Ill.) came off the bench recording 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists. Katlyn Fiorucci led the Regents in rebounding bringing down 8 and recording 3 steals.
The Rockford University women's basketball team looks to keep its winning streak going when it hosts Aurora on Saturday, January 6. Tip-off is set for 4:15 PM.