Men's Basketball Hangs Tough with UW-Whitewater

Ben Weber
Ben Weber

WHITEWATER, Wis. - The Rockford University men's basketball team concluded its four-game road trip on Thursday with a trek north to take on the UW-Whitewater Warhawks. The Regents entered the game looking for their second upset of the week after knocking off Concordia Wisconsin just two days earlier. Thursday's game appeared to be an even tougher test as the Warhawks entered the evening ranked just outside the top twenty-five as the first team receiving votes in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll. Rockford played very well against the highly talented Warhawks as the Regents led for much of the first half and were able to keep the game within reach nearly the entire way. Ultimately though it was Whitewater's depth and presence in the paint that helped push the Warhawks over the top for a 97-85 victory.

The first half got off to a great start for the Regents as they knocked down their opening shot of the game. Freshman Ben Weber (South Beloit, Ill.) gave Rockford a quick 3-0 lead as he drained his first of four three-pointers in the game. The Regents then used a 10-2 run midway through the first half to extend their lead to a game-high 7 points at 21-14. Rockford capitalized off a well-balanced attack during the run as four different Regents scored at least two points. The game went back-and-forth over the next few minutes until the Warhawks used an 18-2 run to grab a 40-28 lead, their largest of the half. Rockford would cut the deficit down to as few as 6 points before Whitewater ultimately took a 46-38 advantage into halftime. 

The second half did not start out well for Rockford as the Warhawks quickly pushed their lead to double-digits. Whitewater would extend its lead to at the time a game-high 15 points with exactly 11 minutes remaining. It was at that point that the Regents began to slowly but surely work their way back into the game. Over the next 5 minutes and 2 seconds, Rockford put together a 13-3 run to get themselves within 5 points at 79-74. Sophomore Tony Diemer (Rockford, Ill.) and Ben Weber led the charge scoring four points each as the Regents put themselves in position to retake the lead. Unfortunately that was as close as Rockford would get as the Warhawks outscored the Regents 18-7 down the stretch en route to a 97-85 win.

Ben Weber and Tony Diemer each had a huge game for the Regents. Weber scored a career-high 23 points with 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. Diemer recorded his second double-double of the season with 22 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. 

Rockford also got solid contributions from Ben Temrowski (Rochester, Mich.), Kivontay Shaw (Galesburg, Ill.) and Trae Blumhorst (Mendota, Ill.). Temrowski led the Rockford bench with 10 points. Shaw added 8 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, while Blumhorst had 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. 

The RU men's basketball team returns home on Saturday, December 10 against Marian University. Tip-off is set for 4:15 PM in the Seaver Center.