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Rockford College women look to keep streak alive

Tuesday, February 23, 2010  
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By Jay Taft
RRSTAR.COM
Posted Feb 23, 2010 @ 09:44 AM
Last update Feb 23, 2010 @ 09:45 AM

The Rockford College women just won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
If they don’t make it three in a row Wednesday, their season will be over.

The Regents (8-17, 6-11 NAC) take on Wisconsin Lutheran (14-11, 12-6) at 7 p.m. in the Northern Athletics Conference postseason tournament opener, with the loser going home for the offseason and the winner moving on to Friday’s semifinals. The finals are at 7 p.m. Saturday, and all games are played at the higher seed’s place.

"We’ve got to win or we’re done, and we all know that. We’ve been up and down this season, but everyone knows that now is not the time to be down,” Rockford’s first-year head coach Jessica Stanek said. "We’ve done some good things lately, now we just have to put it all together each and every night we get to go out there.”

Stanek’s Regents, the No. 7 seed in the eight-team tourney, knocked off Marian (67-58) last Wednesday and then MSOE (62-59) on Saturday for their first winning streak of the season. Wisconsin Lutheran, which just wrapped-up its second straight NAC South Division title, knocked off the Regents 71-58 in their only meeting of the season Dec. 12.

Not only will the Regents have to defeat a team that beat them badly earlier in the year, but they may have to do so without one of their top weapons. Forward Megan Lawler, a junior out of Pearl City, was hit in the nose and left Saturday’s game with just less than nine minutes to go and was unable to return. X-rays are pending, and Stanek lists her as questionable for Wednesday’s game.

"We definitely need all of our girls to step it up for this one,” Stanek said. "Megan is somebody that teams have to respect, and we could sure use her.”

Lawler is shooting 65 percent (119-for-183) from the floor and is averaging 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds. She also leads the team with 54 steals. Britney Curry is scoring 14.6 points and is grabbing 6.3 rebounds per night.

Whitney Miller (16.3 points, 7.5 rebounds) leads the way for Wisconsin Lutheran, which has won five of its past seven games.

The winner of Wednesday night’s matchup will face the winner of No. 3-seed Lakeland versus No. 6 Alverno in Friday’s semis. The tournament winner will advance to the 2010 NCAA Division III Tournament.

College reporter Jay Taft can be reached at 815-987-1382 or jtaft@rrstar.com.

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