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Regents win season opener

Monday, November 16, 2009  
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By Jay Taft
Posted Nov 16, 2009 @ 11:53 PM

ROCKFORD — Rockford and Greenville were involved in a back-and-forth battle filled with four lead changes and even more momentum swings for more than 13 minutes of Monday night’s season opener at Seaver Gym.

Four minutes and 20 seconds later, it was basically over.

Sparked by the backcourt play of Andrew Weber and Danny Armelin, and supercharged by newcomer Robert Malone’s moves to the basket, the Regents rolled to an easy 98-75 win. But not before getting pushed early on.

“It took a little time,” Rockford head coach Ryan Rebsom said, “But we got it going, and then we kept it going.”

It was 25-all with 6:30 left in the first half, but a Regents’ timeout seemed to hit home. A fired-up Rebsom told the team to focus more on the defensive end, and in doing so the offense started to come in droves.

“In that timeout, coach was all about defense, defense, defense. Once we starting getting some stops, our transition game really opened up,” the Boylan product, Weber, said after scoring 15 points, grabbing eight rebounds, dishing out five assists and nabbing three steals. “When we get going like that, we are hard to stop. Once we got going tonight, we couldn’t be stopped.”

A Weber steal and no-look, behind-the-back assist to Malone with 2:10 remaining capped off a 21-0 run, one that Greenville would never regroup from.

Armelin, the senior point guard, then slashed to the bucket for two and nailed a trey to kick-start the second half. And even though the Panthers cut it to 18 a few minutes later on a LaPhonso Ellis jumper, Weber and Taylor Stinson quickly drained 3-pointers to end that mini-surge. From there, the lead just grew.

“Once we stopped trading baskets with them, and started getting some stops on D, we took off,” said Malone, an Arkansas Baptist junior-college transfer who scored a game-high 22 points. “We saw they were getting tired once we started running, and we all got the green light. There was no way they were getting back into this game after that.”

Malone scored six straight points to make sure of that midway through the second half. He also grabbed eight rebounds and had no turnovers in a game in which the Regents gave it away 11 times while Greenville committed 25 turnovers.

Rockford also outrebounded its first foes of the season 44-33. Garrett Staniec had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Armelin finished with 20 points, seven assists, five steals and five rebounds.

The Regents will continue their four-game homestand to open the season when they host Eureka at 7 p.m. Wednesday. They head to Concordia (Wis.) on Dec. 1 for their first road game, and their first Northern Athletics Conference matchup of the season.


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