PLYMOUTH, Wis. - It was a historic night for the Rockford University women's basketball program, as senior Tajanae Key (Glendale Heights, Ill.) became just the twelfth person to record 500 career rebounds. Key currently ranks eleventh all-time in program history with 505 rebounds. With 11 games remaining in the 2017-18 season, Key has a strong chance to become Rockford's eighth leading rebounder. In order to accomplish that feat, she needs to average just 5.9 rebounds for the remainder of the year. Key could move as high as seventh place all-time, but would need to average 9.1 rebounds for the rest of the season.
Unfortunately the rest of the evening did not go as well for the Regents (4-10, 2-7 NACC) as Rockford fell 78-42 to the Lakeland University Muskies (8-6, 5-4 NACC). The Muskies trailed for just 27 seconds in the game and led in nearly every statistical category. Lakeland shot 44.9% from the floor while doing the vast majority of their damage on the interior, outscoring Rockford 48-18 on points in the paint. The Muskies also forced 28 Regent turnovers and converted them into 28 points. On the flip side, Rockford forced 14 Muskie turnovers and converted them into just 9 points. One area the Regents did perform extremely well was their three-point defense. Rockford held Lakeland to just 4-of-21 shooting (19.0%) from beyond the arc.
Despite what the final score might indicate, the game was within reach for the majority of the first half. Rockford played especially well in the first quarter as the two teams were separated by just one score for most of the period. The Regents stormed out of the gates on fire connecting on three of their first four attempts including draining back-to-back shots to begin the game. After a Sammi Russell (Winnebago, Ill.) layup tied the game at two, Nicole Silvers (Byron, Ill.) hit her first three-point attempt of the evening to give Rockford a one-point lead at 5-4. However, Lakeland quickly answered with back-to-back layups of its own to retake the lead at 8-5. The Muskie lead hovered around three points for the remainder of the period as Lakeland took a 16-11 advantage into the second quarter. Things began to take a turn for the worse over the final 10 minutes of the first half as Lakeland used a 6-0 run to open the second to push its lead to double-digits. The Muskies would extend their lead to as many as 20 points as they entered halftime with a 39-19 advantage.
The second half did not go well for Rockford, as the Regents were never able to get back within striking distance. Lakeland would push its lead to as many as 43 points before ultimately winning by a final score of 78-42.
Linzy Keller (Rockford, Ill.) led the Rockford attack with a team-high 11 points. Nicole Silvers shot the ball well for the Regents scoring 9 points on 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. She also tallied 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. Tajanae Key recorded a team-high 6 rebounds, 2 points, 2 steals and 1 assist.
The RU women's basketball team returns to the court on Saturday, January 13 at home against Wisconsin Lutheran College. Tip-off is set for 4:15 PM in the Seaver Center.