RIVER FOREST, Ill. - The Rockford University women's basketball team (5-20, 3-17 NACC) lost a hard-fought 63-42 game on the road to the Dominican University Stars (14-11, 10-10 NACC) to conclude the season. Despite what the final score might indicate, Rockford played very well for the majority of the game. The Regents forced 19 turnovers and converted them into 11 points, while turning the ball over a season-low 9 times. Unfortunately Dominican was able to catch fire from the floor in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win. With the Stars leading by just three points at the start of the final period, Dominican scored 29 points on 56.3% shooting, compared to just 11 points for Rockford on 19.0% shooting. The Stars also held a huge advantage on the glass, outrebounding Rockford 61-41.
After a difficult first quarter where the Regents were outscored 13-5, Rockford began to find its groove in the second. The Regents did not commit a single turnover in the period and outscored the Stars 13-8 to pull back with three points at the half. Rockford got off to a hot start scoring the first five points of the period. Linzy Keller (Rockford, Ill.) jump-started the offense with a made jumper, followed by a triple off the hand of Nicole Silvers (Byron, Ill.) to make it a 13-10 game. However, Dominican would respond by extending its lead back to seven points with exactly two minutes remaining in the half. Fortunately Rockford answered right back, scoring on its next three possessions to cut the deficit to a single point with 23 seconds remaining. The Regents got two points apiece from Tajanae Key (Glendale Heights, Ill.), Lexie Collins (Earlville, Ill.) and Maddy Pearson (Peru, Ill.) during that span. Unfortunately it was the Stars who were able to score the final points of the period to take a 21-18 lead into the break.
Rockford got off to a bit of a sluggish start in the third quarter before turning it on late in the period. The Stars scored the first eight points of the quarter to take an 11-point lead with 5:32 remaining. With Dominican still leading by ten with less than four minutes remaining, Rockford closed the quarter on a 7-0 run to pull back within three. Lexie Collins and Neve Yerk (Belvidere, Ill.) got the scoring started with two points each before Katie Hart (Davis Junction, Ill.) drained a triple in final seconds to make it a 34-31 game heading into the fourth.
The final quarter was close in the opening moments before the Stars took control down the stretch. The Regents and Stars traded baskets over the first few possessions as Rockford still trailed by four points with 8:21 left in the game. It was at that point that Dominican began to assert itself, scoring ten straight points to take a commanding 51-37 lead at the 5:35 mark. The Stars continued to extend their advantage until they ultimately won by a final score of 63-41.
Rockford used a balanced attack offensively on Saturday. Linzy Keller led the Regents with a team-high 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal off the bench. Katie Hart and Nicole Silvers each finished with 7 points. Hart also added 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal, while Silvers tallied 3 assists, 1 rebound and 1 steal. Lexie Collins had 6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. Tajanae Key recorded a team-high 8 rebounds, 4 points, 4 steals and 1 assist. Key also finished in the top-12 in the NACC in a trio of categories at the conclusion of the regular season. She is second in the NACC in steals per game (3.0), seventh in rebounds per game (7.6) and twelfth in assists per game (2.9).
The RU women's basketball team concludes the 2017-18 season with a tenth place finish in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference.