DC falls in tourney opener
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
By Lynn Groll
December 30, 2008
Rockford College handed Defiance College a "Taylor Made" setback in the opening round of the 34th Annual Purple & Gold Financial Tournament and also put an abrupt halt to a five-game DC winning streak on Monday evening, 95-89.
DC will look to salvage a third-place finish today against Geneva (2-6) at 5 p.m.
Calvin College (4-5) captured a 91-65 triumph after outscoring the Golden Tornadoes 91-65 in the second half in Monday's opening game.
Calvin and Rockford will then play for the Purple & Gold Financial Tournament title at approximately 7 p.m. tonight.
Rockford (5-5) scorched the Weaner Center nets behind a sizzling 55.2 percent shooting night, with starting backcourters Rennell Taylor, Andrew Weber, Danny Armelin and Taylor Stinson raining jumpers on the Jackets all night long and combining for all but 11 of Rockford's points.
"When you give up that many points and they shoot that kind of percentage, this is what we deserve," said first-year DC coach Kyle Brumett. "Unfortunately, you don't deserve to win when you play like that. We had seen these guys on film and we knew they had a lot of good 1-on-1 type players. We spent time talking about them, but obviously either myself, our staff or the players didn't give them the kind of credit that they deserve because they were great tonight.
"Rennell Taylor plays all 40 minutes, shoots a great percentage, doesn't settle for a bunch of 3's like we did, makes all his free-throws, five assists, doesn't turn it over very often ... he was just outstanding," added Brumett. "That guy was the best player in the game and his teammates had confidence in him and they fed off him."
Taylor, who hails from Chicago's Hales Franciscan High School, led the charge with a barrage of jumpers to finish with a game-best 35 tallies while never leaving the court.
Stinson followed with 21 points while Armelin had 19 and Weber chipped in with nine points.
Rockford's quartet of starting guards combined to shoot 58 percent (33-of-57) for the evening.
"We're a guard-oriented team," said Rockford mentor Ryan Rebsom. "It's where we focus a lot of stuff on ... we're not very deep. We suit nine and lost one of our best players over the break due to injury, so this was a big win for us. When our shots are falling, we can play with anybody.
"He's a hot-cold guy and he's been hot most of his senior year," added Rebsom of Taylor. "When he gets going, we sit back and watch. He's a great kid and is really helping us turn our program around. When he gets going, he's the best player in the gym at times."
DC (6-4) also shot a high percentage in first half at 52.8 percent and went into the halftime break trailing 56-52 after Rockford tossed the basketball into the bucket at a 57.5 clip in the first 20 minutes.
The visiting Regents continued to shoot well in the second 20 minutes and grabbed their largest lead of the night at 79-64 with 7:22 elapsed in the second half after Armelin and Taylor both canned a jumper and trey each.
DC still trailed by a considerable margin (88-74) with 6:06 remaining before mounting furious rally down the stretch.
A layup from junior forward Nick Sales with 2:26 left brought DC to within five (88-83) before the Barberton native drew the Jackets closer 59 ticks later with a pair of freebies.
Armelin and Sales then traded two charity tosses each before Weber and Taylor combined to go 5-of-6 at the free-throw line in the final 25 seconds to close out the Jackets.
DC hoisted up 34 trifectas in the loss and made just seven, while also failing to capitalize on a significant size advantage in the paint. The Jackets held a 48-32 edge in points scored in the paint and had nearly as many offensive rebounds as the Regents had total rebounds with 23 offensive rebounds to Rockford's 28 total rebounds. The huge advantage on the offensive glass led directly to 26-4 advantage for the Jackets in second-chance points.
"We took too many jump-shots," said Brumett. "We had a major advantage inside and we were not patient enough to take advantage of it ... it's very disappointing. Unfortunately tonight, the best way for us to get the ball inside was to miss 3's (and grab the rebound) and that's really disappointing because we're talking a lot about throwing the ball inside. The most disappointing thing about tonight's game is that I leave the gym now thinking my guys don't understand what I'm trying to get them to do.
"We want to play fast and we have good shooters and we're confident in them, but at no point are we going into games wanting to or attempting to shoot 30-some 3's," continued Brumett. "I'd like to shoot 20 or less, but even if you took 10 less 3's and 10 times you throw it into the post, something goods going to happen ... it's going to happen. We're a team that wants to play fast, we want score a lot of points, but our offensive decisions directly effect our defense. We did not play like we understood that and I did not coach them well enough tonight to get them to understand that. Their coach did a better job with his guys than I did with mine so credit to him."
ROCKFORD COLLEGE (95) - Staniec 2-5 1-1 5; Taylor 14-20 5-5 35; Weber 4-11 1-2 9; D. Armelin 7-12 2-2 19; Stinson 8-14 0-0 21; Nauman 1-2 0-0 3; K. Armelin 0-0 0-0 0; Lopez 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 37-67 9-10 95.
DEFIANCE COLLEGE (89) - Sales 6-7 7-9 19; Pettaway 7-11 4-4 18; Ky. Tietje 4-5 1-3 12; Floyd 3-14 0-0 8; Brown 3-9 3-4 10; Jackson 0-1 0-0 0; Stolly 0-3 1-2 1; Armstrong 1-5 0-0 3; Ke. Tietje 6-13 4-7 16; Conley 1-2 0-0 2; Stuckey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-70 20-29 89.
Three-point goals: Rockford - 12-27 (Taylor 2-5, Weber 0-2, D. Armelin 3-5, Stinson 5-10, Nauman 1-2, Lopez 1-3). Defiance - 7-34 (Pettaway 0-2, Ky. Tietje 3-4, Floyd 2-9, Brown 1-7, Jackson 0-1, Stolly 0-1, Armstrong 1-5, Ke. Tietje 0-5). Rebounds: Rockford 28 (Staniec 8), Defiance 46 (Ke. Tietje 13, Pettaway 12, Sales 7). Turnovers: Rockford 11, Defiance 14.
Rockford 56 39 - 95
Defiance 52 37 - 89