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Regents Shoot Down Stars in Final Seconds

Thursday, December 09, 2010  
Posted by: Regents Sports Information
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ROCKFORD, Ill. – The last time the Dominican University Stars visited the Seaver Center, they suffered a similar fate.  On January 17, 2009, Rennell Taylor hit a 15-foot turnaround jumper at the overtime buzzer, giving Rockford the 94-92 overtime win.

On Wednesday, the Regents and Stars again went to the game’s final seconds, the Regents ultimately improving to 3-0 in the Northern Athletics Conference with the 79-78 win.  The victory marked the first time in the short history of the NAC that the Regents have started the season 3-0 in conference.

During the game’s first 10 minutes, the game featured two NAC South division heavyweights fighting for an early divisional lead.  With the score tied at 16, Rockford took control of the game’s momentum.  By halftime, Rockford had established a 41-28 lead while holding the Stars to just 13 field goals, including 1-8 from three point range.

As one would expect, the Stars emerged from the halftime break with a renewed sense of aggressiveness.  By the 12:00 mark, the Regents found themselves with their lead cut to one and having already committed seven team fouls, sending the Stars to the free throw line on every foul the rest of the game.   With just 4:36 remaining, Rockford found themselves up just one point, 70-69, trying to hold on as the Stars continued to push the ball to the rim. 

A Dominican jumper gave them their first lead of the half at 76-75 with just two minutes to play.  After a Rockford turnover, Dominican pushed their lead to three.  Junior point guard Paul Hall (Des Moines, Iowa/ Roosevelt) connected on a short jumper in the middle of the lane to cut the lead to back to one with just over a minute remaining.  Leading by one, Dominican took the ball to their offensive baseline and attempted a jumper, but senior Robert Malone (Stephens, Ark./ Stephens) and Hall were there as Malone blocked the shot attempt and Hall stole the rebound. 

With the game on the line, everyone in the gym know the play was going to Malone and again he didn’t disappoint.  Malone got the ball from freshman Tory Minnifield (Blue Island, Ill./ Eisenhower) about 10 feet out on the right baseline.  Malone turned and pulled up, connecting on a jumper with just 5.9 seconds on the clock.  After a Dominican timeout, Rockford made their biggest defensive stand of the season, forcing a missed jumper, sealing the victory.

Back-to-back NAC Student-Athlete of the Week Malone tallied a career-high 38 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while playing the games final 9:48 with four personal fouls.  Minnifield finished with 14 points, eight boards, and three steals.  Fellow freshman Clem Robinson (Milwaukee, Wis./ Nicolet) added 10 points off the bench.

Rockford will host Wisconsin Lutheran College on Saturday at the Seaver Center as part of a NAC women’s and men’s doubleheader.  The ladies will open the action at 2:00 p.m. with the men to follow at 4:15 p.m.

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