ROCKFORD, Ill. – Junior Austin Stueck scored 17 points to lead three player in double-figures for the MSOE men's basketball team as it got back on the winning track with a 76-72 victory over Rockford Saturday afternoon at the Seever Center.
The Raiders (2-3, 1-1 NACC) shot 53.5 percent from the field in snapping a three-game losing streak and hand the Regents (0-5, 0-1) the loss.
Senior Jeremiah Erdmann and junior Connor Patterson scored 14 points apiece, with Patterson adding six rebounds and three blocks before fouling out of the game. Senior Nathan Verdun and junior Dylan Jones added eight points each for the Red & White, with Jones pulling down seven boards.
John O'Bryan scored a game-high 27 points for Rockford. Jerry Pratt added 12 and Trae Blumorst and Kenny Parks each finished with 10.
MSOE led by as many as 12 in the second half, but had to fend off the home team down to the wire. The score was 75-72 with 9.4 seconds remaining when the Raiders forced an off-balance three-point attempt with time running down. Junior Steve Morel grabbed the rebound and hit one of his two free throws to ice the game.
The Raiders had used a 9-0 run in the first half to take early control in the game. It was tight in the early-going, with RU leading 17-14 before the run. The Red & White's lead peaked at six with the 23-17 advantage, but the home team would not go away and pulled within 35-33 at halftime.
In the second half, MSOE held the Regents without a field goal for just under eight minutes as it built a 12-point lead. Rockford's hit a bucket at 15:08 to take a brief 43-42 lead, but was relegated to scoring only from the free throw line until 7:12. By that time, the Raiders had built its lead to 66-54.
RU once again hung around and pulled within three at 73-70 heading into the final minute. An offensive foul gave the home team the ball with a chance to tie the game when MSOE called timeout with 58.3 seconds to go.
A layup with 39 seconds to go made it 73-72 and Stueck was fouled with 32.2 seconds to go. He made the first of two before junior Brent Radlinger came away with a steal. He also made one of his two free throws to set up the final possession with under 10 seconds remaining.
The Raiders were efficient on offense, also hitting 5-of-9 three-pointers and committing just 10 turnovers. They were sent to the free throw line 43 times in the game, converting 25 (.581). The Regents were limited to just 36.7 percent shooting on the day, but made 22 of their 25 free throw attempts.
MSOE gets back to action Tuesday on its home court, hosting Marian at 7 p.m. at the Kern Center.