MILWAUKEE – The MSOE women's basketball team nearly erased a 19-point second-half deficit against Rockford, but stalled in the closing minutes in suffering a 65-55 defeat Saturday afternoon at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (7-11, 4-9 NACC) entered the four quarter trailing by 15, but shut down the Regents (6-13, 4-10 NACC) and opened the frame with a 13-2 run to pull within a two-possession game before the visitors scored the final six points of the game to escape with the win.
Senior Holly Denfeld scored 20 points and had eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals to pace the Red & White. Senior Lizzy Hilby added 11 points and seven rebounds with senior Margaret Pugh chipping in nine points and six boards.
Mallorie Getzelman had a game-high 23 points for Rockford, including her 1,000th career point in the third quarter. Nicole Silvers scored 17 points and Taylor May 12 on the day.
Getzelmann's jumper with 2:54 remaining in the third period gave Rockford its largest lead of the game at 54-35. The Raiders responded with a 7-3 run to end the period and spark the offense to life.
May opened the scoring in the fourth quarter with a basket before it was all Red & White. Defensively, MSOE shut out the Regents on 10-straight possessions forcing five-straight missed shots and five turnovers during the run.
At the other end, Denfeld scored six of her points during the stretch, while Pugh hit a couple key baskets and sophomore Kiana Jeremiah converted an old-fashioned three-point play early to get the ball rolling. It was a Denfeld layup with 1:48 to go that made it 59-55.
Unfortunately, all it took was a Getzelman basket at 23 seconds later to right the ship for the visitors, who then tacked on four-straight free throws at the end of the game.
The Raiders finished the game shooting just 31.7 percent for the game, attempting a season-high 28 three-pointers, but connecting on just six. They did finish a perfect 9-for-9 at the free throw line, but that was not enough on this day, as Rockford shot 49 percent and connect on 6-of-10 from three-point range.
MSOE will look to get on track when it returns to the court Monday, hosting Marian in a makeup game that was originally scheduled for Dec. 17.