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Regents Drop NACC Tournament Game at Illinois Tech

Brandon Emerick (Photo by Judith Rackow)
Brandon Emerick (Photo by Judith Rackow)

CHICAGO, Ill. - The Rockford University men's basketball team (12-14, 11-9 NACC) saw its outstanding season come to an end on Wednesday night in the first round of the NACC Tournament with a 75-68 loss at Illinois Tech (15-11, 11-9 NACC). Rockford played extremely well the entire game and led by as many as 14 points in the second half. Unfortunately, Illinois Tech outscored Rockford 42-21 over the final 14:22 of the game, including an 8-3 edge in the final minute. 

Rockford held an advantage in nearly every team statistical category. The Regents shot 43.8% from the field compared to just 40.6% shooting for the Scarlet Hawks. Rockford also made ten three-pointers and shot a blistering 58.8% from beyond the arc, while Illinois Tech connected on only six triples and shot 24.0% from long range. The Regents also held a three-point edge at the free throw line. However, it was ultimately Illinois Tech's ability to control the boards that won them the game. The Scarlet Hawks outrebounded Rockford 44-to-35 including a 17-to-7 advantage in offensive rebounds. The rebounding edge allowed Illinois Tech to take 21 more shots than Rockford and hold a 22-to-8 advantage in second chance points.


  • The Regents found themselves in a 6-0 hole less than one minute into the game, after the Scarlet Hawks drained a pair of triples to begin the night. Fortunately, Rockford caught fire from beyond the arc and used an 13-3 run to take its first lead of the game. Kevin Diemer (Rockford, Ill.) scored eight points and drained a pair of triples, while Tony Diemer (Rockford, Ill.) scored the other five points during that span. 
  • Rockford would continually build upon its lead throughout the half, pushing it to as many as nine points on four different occasions. Rockford's first nine-point lead came on the heels of an 11-4 RU run. Brandon Emerick (Elkhart, Ind.) led the Rockford attack during that span, scoring eight straight points, including draining back-to-back triples. 
  • The Regents' lead hovered around nine points until the Scarlet Hawks closed the half with a 5-0 run over the final 2:03, to make it a 33-29 RU advantage entering the break.
  • Rockford opened the second half firing on all cylinders, hitting five of its first eight shot attempts and going a perfect two-for-two at the free throw line. Senior Tony Diemer led the charge with eight of Rockford's 14 points over that span, including back-to-back triples to close out the 14-4 RU run and give the Regents a 47-33 lead.
  • However, the Scarlet Hawks answered right back with an 11-0 run of their own over the next 3:32 to pull back within three, at 47-44.
  • The Regents would extend their lead back to as many as six points before the Scarlet Hawks used a 10-1 run to take their first lead since 16:11 remaining in the first half.
  • The Scarlet Hawks' lead was short lived though, as the Regents promptly scored the next five points to retake the lead with 5:54 remaining. Senior Taylor Krocker (Portage, Wis.) scored all five of Rockford's points to put his team back in front 56-54.
  • With Rockford still clinging to a three-point lead, Illinois Tech hit three straight three-pointers to leap back in front 65-60 with 2:34 remaining. 
  • Taylor Krocker once again had the answer for the Regents, as the senior responded with a three of his own to pull Rockford back within two, at 65-63. 
  • After an Illinois Tech basket, Krocker again made it a two-point game, this time with only 1:12 left in the second half. 
  • Unfortunately, the Scarlet Hawks scored the next seven points to put the game away and seal the 75-68 win.


  • Senior Tony Diemer finished with a team-high 16 points and a team-high 8 rebounds.
  • Senior Taylor Krocker added 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 3 rebounds and 1 assist off the bench.
  • Kevin Diemer had 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block and 1 assist. 
  • Brandon Emerick tallied 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting, 3 assists and 3 steals. 
  • Kivontay Shaw (Galesburg, Ill.) had 4 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
  • Senior Will Adams (Chicago, Ill.) added 5 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist. 
  • Senior Talon Hardin (Rantoul, Ill.) finished with 4 points and 2 rebounds off the bench. 
  • Rockford finished the regular season tied for fourth in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. The fourth place finish is the highest regular season finish for the Regents since the 2008-09 season when the conference was split into divisions and Rockford was awarded the third-seed in the conference tournament. 
  • This year also marked the first time the Regents have earned a berth in the Northern Athletics College Conference Tournament since the 2012-13 season.