FOND DU LAC, Wis. - The Rockford University women's basketball team (4-13, 2-10 NACC) struggled to find any rhythm offensively as the Regents fell 51-39 on the road Saturday to the Marian University Sabres (3-14, 1-11 NACC). Rockford simply could not buy a basket for much of the day as the Regents shot just 23.8% from the floor and 11.8% from long range. Fortunately the Regents played very well on the defensive side of the ball holding the Sabres to just 29.3% shooting including 25.0% from three-point distance. Ultimately the difference in the game was Marian's ability to get easy baskets. The Sabres outscored the Regents 14-4 on fast break points and 17-8 on points off turnovers.
The game got off to a really good start for Rockford as the ladies led for much of the first quarter. The Regents opened the game on a 6-2 run to give Rockford its largest lead of the day. Tajanae Key (Glendale Heights, Ill.) and Nicole Silvers (Byron, Ill.) each scored three points during that stretch, with Slivers knocking down a shot from long range and Key converting on a three-point play. However the Sabres would quickly close the gap, as Brandi Bender hit back-to-back threes to give her team the lead for the first time. The Regents and Sabres traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter until Marian hit a layup in the final seconds to take a 12-10 lead after one period of play.
The second quarter did not go well for the Regents as they managed to score just 6 points in the period. With Rockford trailing 13-12, Marian went on a 9-0 run to take a 10-point lead with just under 3 minutes remaining in the first half. Thankfully Rockford closed the period with a 4-0 run of its own led by 2 points apiece from Katie Hart (Davis Junction, Ill.) and Linzy Keller (Rockford, Ill.) as the Regents entered the half trailing 22-16.
Rockford appeared to be primed to retake the lead after a strong showing in the early moments of the third quarter. Nicole Silvers scored Rockford's first seven points of the period to pull the Regents back within a single point at 24-23. After the two teams traded baskets, Marian promptly scored the next seven points as its lead ballooned back to eight. Unfortunately things only got worse from that point on, as the Sabres steadily increased their lead to a game-high 15 points late in the fourth quarter, before ultimately winning by a final score of 51-39.
Nicole Silvers finished with a team-high 12 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist and 1 block. Tajanae Key recorded 7 points, 4 steals, 3 blocks, 2 assists and a game-high 12 rebounds. Key has now hit double-digits in rebounds five times this season and currently ranks sixth in the NACC, averaging 8.3 rebounds per game. Katie Hart had 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, while Linzy Keller added 8 points and 2 rebounds off the bench.
The RU women's basketball team hits the road again on Wednesday, January 24 at Edgewood College. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM.