Monkey off their backs, Geneva picks up first conference victory

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Beaver Falls, PA – In a must-win victory in the middle of January, Geneva′s men′s basketball team got exactly what it needed with a 77-66 over Houghton College to move to 1-2 in the AMC North. After suffering through a three-game losing streak, including a pair of conference games, Geneva headed into an important two-game weekend within the conference and took care of the first half of business on Friday night. Meanwhile, Houghton dropped to 7-9 overall, including an 0-4 record in the AMC North.

Geneva jumped out to a 10-2 lead to start the game, but Houghton responded with 20 of the next 24 points to open an eight point lead of its own. The Golden Tornadoes again responded to take a three-point lead into the locker room.

Geneva never relinquished the lead in the final 20 minutes despite Houghton cutting the lead to just one point at 51-50 with 11:56 remaining in the game.

The Golden Tornadoes got an heroic effort from senior Jermaine Ferguson with his second double-double of the season. Ferguson scored 23 points on 8-12 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds. Greg McDivitt also picked up a double-double with 11 ponts and ten rebounds. Ryan Burns had a productive evening with 11 points on 4-5 shooting.

“Obviously, we needed this one very bad,” said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. “Our guys played hard and gave a much needed solid effort. They worked hard from start to finish and that′s what we need to be successful. Hopefully, we can start to build something off of this victory.”

Geneva will need to start building tomorrow afternoon as it welcomes Roberts Wesleyan College to Metheny Fieldhouse for a 4:00 matinee. Next week, the Golden Tornadoes have the tough task of traveling to Point Park for another AMC North match-up next Thursday.