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First-place Regents earn respect, beat Dominican

Thursday, December 09, 2010  
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By Doug Goodman
RRSTAR.COM
Posted Dec 09, 2010 @ 12:08 AM

ROCKFORD — Rockford College was the Rodney Dangerfield of the Northern Athletics Conference preseason men’s basketball poll — they got no respect.

The young Regents were expected to finish last in the tough South Division.

Three games into the conference season, the Regents are proving the poll wrong.

The Regents (5-3, 3-0 NAC) took sole possession of first place Wednesday with a 79-78 victory over Dominican (4-4, 2-1 NAC).

"That is a motivational thing for us,” Rockford coach Ryan Rebsom said of the preseason poll. "We think we are a better basketball team than that.”  

The Regents, who are off to their best conference start in Rebsom’s six-year career, had a roller-coaster game against Dominican.

Rockford fell behind 14-8 early, but rallied to take a 41-28 halftime lead.

Dominican outscored Rockford 25-13 in the first 7:45 of the second half to cut the margin to 54-53.

Dominican tied the game at 74-all with 2:45 left, and then took the lead at 76-75.

The lead grew to 78-75 with a minute left before Rockford’s Paul Hall hit a jumper.

Teammate Robert Malone then blocked a shot with 22 seconds left, and Rockford got the ball for a final shot.

The Regents worked the ball down to Malone near the baseline, and he hit a short banker with 5.9 seconds left.

A final shot by Dominican hit the back of the rim and bounced away.

Malone, a 6-foot-4 senior forward, had a game-high 38 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks despite playing the final 9:47 with four fouls.

"That was when they started coming to me,” he said of Dominican.

"They didn’t think I was going to play defense because I had four fouls. I just had to stay active and play a little smarter.”

Rockford freshmen Tory Minnifield added 14 points, and Clem Robinson 10.

Reporter Doug Goodman can be reached at 815-987-1386 or dgoodman@rrstar.com.

This story appeared at http://www.rrstar.com/sports/x1499823485/First-place-Regents-earn-respect-beat-Dominican on December 9, 2010.

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