ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University women's basketball team (5-18, 3-15 NACC) hosted the MSOE Raiders (9-14, 7-11 NACC) on Saturday evening while honoring its five seniors. Lexie Collins (Earlville, Ill.), Katie Hart (Davis Junction, Ill.), Tajanae Key (Glendale Heights, Ill.), Casey Pettit (Rockford, Ill.) and Virginia Reed (Rockford, Ill.) were celebrated prior to the game. During the game Rockford hung around during the first quarter but come the second quarter the Raiders had built up an insurmountable lead and the Regents would fall 70-41 in its final home game of the season.
The first quarter would start with MSOE in the driver's seat, but the Regents would not be far behind. Anytime it would seem as though the Raiders were about the pull away RU would bring the game back within reach. Nicole Silvers (Byron, Ill.) would hit two three-pointers in the first quarter to help shorten the gap as Rockford would trail 19-13 heading into the second quarter of play. At the early stages of the second quarter Katlyn Fiorucci (Machesney Park, Ill.) would find Lexie Collins under the basket for a layup bringing the score to within five at 20-15 with 8:44 to play in the half. Unfortunately, the Raiders would lengthen its lead as the Raiders put together a 17-2 run that would eat up the entire second quarter clock. The Regents would go into halftime trailing the Raiders 37-17. Nicole Silvers led Rockford at halftime with 9 points, all coming from beyond the arc. A large factor in the Regents halftime deficit was MSOE shooting 46.4% from the floor compared to RU's 23.3%.
The third quarter started with the Raiders getting on the board first. The Regents would answer as Katie Hart would drive to the hoop, draw the foul and convert on both of her shots from the line. On the Raiders next possession, the Regents played great defense but could not come away with a stop as MSOE knocked down a three-pointer as time expired on the shot clock. Nicole Silvers would make it four three-pointers on the night as she made the score 42-22 with 6:42 left in the third quarter. Lexie Collins would start to heat up as Tajanae Key found her for a mid-range jumper. However, MSOE would come down to answer with a three. On the very next possession it would be the exact same story with Collins hitting from mid-range and the Raiders going down the court and hitting from beyond the arc. Rockford would find some life as Key would force a turnover that ended with a Hart lay-up. On the ensuing Raider possession RU would again force a turnover resulting in a Key lay-up making the score 48-32 with 3:47 to play in the quarter. Despite the Regents outscoring MSOE 17-15 in the quarter RU would go into the final quarter trailing 52-34.
Katie Hart would attempt to get Rockford going in the fourth quarter scoring the first basket however, the Raiders would not falter as MSOE would put together a 13-0 run before Tajanae Key would steal the ball and finish the lay-up making the score 65-38 with just under 4 minutes remaining in the game. Rockford would attempt to string a run together as Nicole Silvers found Katie Hart for a three-pointer to make it 65-41 with 3:28 to play. MSOE would bring an end to the Regents as it knocked down a three as it had seemed the Raiders were able to do all game, shooting 11-for-23 from downtown. MSOE would prove too much for Rockford as the Raiders came away with the 70-41 win.
Rockford had two players reach double-digit scoring on the day. Nicole Silvers lead the way coming off the bench registering 12 points all coming off three-pointers. Katie Hart tallied 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Lexie Collins played well notching 8 points and 3 rebounds. Tajanae Key put together a nice game as she chalked up 8 points, 8 steals, 4 assists and 3 rebounds.
The Rockford University women's basketball team returns to action on Tuesday, February 13 as it travels to take on Concordia Wisconsin. Tip-off is set for 7 PM.