MILWAUKEE – The MSOE men's basketball team erased a 10-point first-half deficit to lead for much of the second half, but could not hold on in falling to Rockford, 80-78, Saturday afternoon at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (8-9, 7-6 NACC) found themselves in a 10-point hole late in the first half before pulling close to the Regents (7-13, 6-9 NACC) at halftime and surpassing the visitors early in the second half. The game was back and forth down the stretch and it was the visitors that prevailed.
Senior Collin Seubert scored a game-high 24 points in the loss. Junior Tegan Miles posted a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds to go with four assists and sophomore Jason Palesse finished with nine points, six rebounds and six assists.
Zach Wallace finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds for Rockford while Trae Blumhorst had 15 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. Ryan Fiorucci went 5-for-6 from three-point range off the bench for 15 points and Nicolas Ramos chipped in 10.
Hot shooting staked Rockford out to a 31-21 advantage with 5:19 remaining in the first half before MSOE started its ascent. It ended the first half on a 15-6 run to make it a one-point game at the break, then scored the first four points of the second half to take a 40-37 lead.
Five-straight Seubert points a few minutes later would give the Raiders a five-point lead at 51-46, and they would later expand that advantage to six points. Unfortunately, they just could not shake the Regents.
All told, there were seven lead changes and four ties in the second half. Miles gave MSOE its last lead at 75-74 with 3:49 to play, but Fiorucci answered with a three and Wallace followed that up with a layup at 1:07 to effectively put the game out of reach.
The Raiders shot 42.9 percent for the game, including 5-of-19 from three-point range. They committed just eight turnovers but were hurt by a 7-for-20 performance at the free throw line. Rockford shot better than 50 percent for the game, finishing at 50.7 percent, and went 6-for-10 from both beyond the arc and at the free throw line.
MSOE will look to put this game behind it when it returns to the court Tuesday at Wisconsin Lutheran.