PLYMOUTH, Wis. - The Rockford University men's basketball team lost its second straight NACC game on Saturday 86-77 to the Lakeland University Muskies. Following a close first half, the Muskies were able to put some distance between themselves and the Regents early in the second half. Lakeland would build its lead up to a game-high 20 points with 10:58 remaining, which allowed the Muskies to hold off the Regents down the stretch for the victory.
Despite only leading briefly, Rockford was within striking distance the entire first half. After the Regents took an early 4-3 lead, the Muskies caught fire making four of their next six shot attempts to jump out to a 12-4 advantage. Rockford would respond however with a 10-1 run of its own led by 6 points from Tony Diemer (Rockford, Ill.) to retake the lead with 12:31 remaining in the half. The game then remained close over the next 6 minutes as the two teams traded baskets. Unfortunately, it was the Muskies who closed the half strong with a 10-5 run to take a 42-35 lead into the intermission.
The second half got off to a miserable start for the Regents as the Muskies used a 12-4 to run to open up a 15-point lead. Lakeland would extend its lead to a game-high 20 points before Rockford made a ferocious charge in the closing moments of the game. The Regents used a 9-2 run in a span of just over a minute led by five points from freshman Ben Weber (South Beloit, Ill.) to close to within 10 points with 1:38 remaining. Trae Blumhorst (Mendota, Ill.) then pulled Rockford to within 5 points with 46 seconds remaining after draining back-to-back shots. Unfortunately the Muskies connected on enough free throws in the final seconds to hold off the Regents for an 86-77 win.
The Regents were led by the trio of Tony Diemer, Trae Blumhorst and Zach Wallace (Rockford, Ill.). Diemer scored a team-high 26 points on 10-for-20 shooting and grabbed 7 rebounds. Blumhorst poured in a season-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting while also getting 5 rebounds and dishing out 5 assists. Wallace recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The RU men's basketball team returns to the court on Wednesday, January 4 at home against Concordia University Chicago. Tip-off is set for 7:15 PM in the Seaver Center.