ROCKFORD, Illinois – Senior Holly Denfeld had 28 points and 14 rebounds in her final collegiate game to lead the MSOE women's basketball team to a come-from-behind 56-52 victory over Rockford Saturday afternoon at the Seaver Center.
The Raiders (13-12, 10-10 NACC) won their 13th game of the season, tied for the fourth-most in school history, but also clinched a third-straight winning season. They were also able to avenge a loss to the Regents (8-17, 6-14 NACC) from earlier in the season.
Denfeld went 13-for-22 from the field on her way to game-high scoring honors. The 28-point output put her atop the NACC in scoring at 20.2 points per game as she eyes her second-straight league scoring title. She also leads the league with 11.1 rebounds per game and a school-record 58.7 field goal percentage.
Senior Margaret Pugh also reached double-figures in her collegiate finale with 10 points.
Mallorie Getzelman and Taylor May scored 16 points to lead Rockford.
The Regents scored the first 10 points of the game and led 21-10 early in the second quarter before MSOE hit its stride on offense. A 15-3 run over a 5:30 span pushed the Red & White ahead 25-24 with 3:21 remaining before halftime. The team pushed its lead to three points before RU pulled ahead just before halftime, 32-31.
Rockford started the second half almost as well as it started the first, opening the third quarter on a 9-1 run to open a nine-point lead at 41-32 at the 6:03 mark of the period. The Raiders cut their deficit to five points by the end of the quarter and, after the home team made it 46-40, they rattled off an 11-2 run to take a 51-48 lead on a jumper by sophomore Kiana Jeremiah with 5:19 remaining in the game.
Nicole Silvers tied the game with a three-pointer less than a minute later before Pugh answered with a go-ahead basket to put her team ahead for good with 3:17 remaining. After a pair of free throws by senior Lizzy Hilby made it 55-52 with 27 seconds to go, sophomore Brooke Scott came up with a game-clinching steal with 10 seconds on the clock.
MSOE shot 44.4 percent for the game but hit on just 1-of-12 from three-point range. The Regents finished at 37.7 percent from the field and had similar troubles from deep, making 1-of-13 attempts.
The Raiders' winning season is just the fourth in program history while the 2017 senior class is the first in team history to not suffer a losing season after going 13-13 as freshmen in 2013-14. The group went 64-39 over the last four seasons.
Denfeld also put the finishing touches on a pair of career program records. She extended her career scoring record to 1,825 points and finished with a 57.1 field goal percentage.