Long time in coming, Geneva upends first-place Notre Dame

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Beaver Falls, PA – Geneva head coach Jeff Santarsiero has been waiting for a performance like this for a long time. Struggling for the better part of the season, Geneva′s men′s basketball team put together its most impressive performance of the season in handing Notre Dame College its first conference loss of the year by the score of 82-71. Notre Dame came into action with a perfect 6-0 mark in the AMC North, while Geneva was treading water in fifth place at 1-4. At the end of the night, the Golden Tornadoes appeared to be the team challenging for a conference title in what turned out to be their most complete performance of the season.

“What an incredible win for our guys,” said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. “We played as close to a perfect game as you can expect from a team. We played hard on both ends of the floor and I feel so good for our guys to finally get rewarded for their hard work.”

Geneva may have done some good work on the defensive end of the floor, but it was the offensive show from freshman Bryan Hill that got Geneva off and running. Hill posted a career high 25 points in converting six three-point field goals. With Geneva trailing 15-14 in the first half, Hill emerged from the bench and promptly knocked down back to back treys to give Geneva a 20-15 lead. It turned out to be a lead that Geneva would never relinquish.

Taking a 38-28 advantage into the locker room at halftime, the Golden Tornadoes never let up and was able to fend off a very talented Notre Dame team. The Falcons cut Geneva′s lead to just two points at 55-53 with 11:09 left in regulation, but Geneva scored the next four points and never again allowed Notre Dame to get within one possession of the lead.

Hill enjoyed a lot of help on the offensive side of the floor. Jermaine Ferguson scored 17 points and added 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, while Kyle McDermott got back into old form with a solid effort and 19 points in the victory. “Welcome back Kyle, said Santarsiero. “We are such a better basketball team when he is on top of his game. He worked hard and gave us exactly what we needed.”

Geneva moved into a fourth place tie with Daemen College at 2-4 in the AMC North. The Golden Tornadoes will play back to back non-conference home games against Seton Hill on Saturday and Myers next Tuesday. Geneva will close out the season with four conference games, including three on the road before ending the regular season at home against Daemen College on February 17th.