Steubenville, OH - When Geneva′s men′s basketball team opened pre-season camp, head coach Jeff Santarsiero had to make several introductions as the Golden Tornadoes featured 11 new faces for the upcoming season. In Wednesday night′s season opener, it was Santarsiero who was getting introduced to his new look team in an 89-59 victory over Steubenville University.
Playing a rotation of 12 players throughout the night, Geneva was able to generate offense from inside the paint and outside the arch en route to its opening season victory. "It was everything we expected in a first game," said Santarsiero. "At times, it wasn′t very pretty, but it was great to see all of our guys get an opportunity to get in the game and feel what it′s like at the college level."
Geneva had a lot of problems a year ago knocking down outside shots and Santarsiero may have found an answer to that problem in freshman Bryan Hill. Hill scored 18 points on 6-9 shooting, all of which came from outside the three-point arch. In the post, Greg McDivitt matched Hill′s production with 18 points of his own, while Mike Ross added 17 points in the victory. "It was great to see some balanced scoring," said Santarsiero. "We have really made offensive balance as one of our main goals and we got off on the right foot tonight."
Geneva ended the night by shooting 55% as a team, including 17-29 from the field in the second half when the Golden Tornadoes broke the game open by outscoring Franciscan 50-38 in the final 20 minutes. Fransiscan had all kind of offensive problems, especially shooting the ball from three-point range. Shooting 0-21 from three-point range in the second half, Franciscan was just 1-31 (3%) from outside the arch for the game.
Geneva will head to Chicago, IL over the weekend for a pair of road games, including a match-up with Purdue North Central on Friday and East-West University on Saturday. The Golden Tornadoes will open the home schedule on November 18th against Ohio University-Eastern.