South Euclid, OH – It had been ten years since Geneva′s women′s basketball team saw a 20-win season. That streak came to an end on Thursday night as the Golden Tornadoes upended Notre Dame College by the score of 67-61 to move their season record to 20-4, including an 11-2 mark in the AMC North. The 1996-97 version of Geneva women′s basketball was the only group to ever reach the 20-win plateau during their 22-12 campaign under head coach Jackie Myers. The current Golden Tornadoes, coached by Ron Galbreath, have been eyeing the 20-win mark all season and now have their sites set on topping the all-time single season record.
It clearly was anything but a basketball masterpiece on Thursday night as the Golden Tornadoes muddled through the first 20 minutes with 14 turnovers and a team shooting percentage of 26%. However, Geneva′s defense, much as it has all season, kept them in the game and after 20 minutes the Golden Tornadoes trailed by just four points at 27-23.
Geneva College and specifically Lauren Uranker quickly erased that deficit as Uranker scored five consecutive points in the first minute of the second half to give Geneva a lead it would never relinquish. Geneva outscored Notre Dame 44-34 in the second half and came away with a season sweep against a very formidable Notre Dame team.
Allyson Clarke led Geneva with 13 points, while Renee Rawding added 12 and Kylee Kittner chipped in with 11 points in the victory. Kittner, one of four Geneva seniors who were starting their final week of the regular season, was a perfect 4-4 from the foul line, including a pair of free throws that put the game away in the final seconds. It was Jackie Anthony′s two foul shots in the final 30 seconds that broke a 61-61 tie and allowed Geneva to win for the 16th time in 18 games.
Geneva′s defense, the best in the American Mideast Conference, held Notre Dame to just eight second half field goals and forced 22 turnovers in the game.
The Golden Tornadoes will now return home to face the AMC North champions Daemen College on the last day of the regular season on Saturday night. Geneva will celebrate senior night and will then turn its sights on the American Mideast Conference tournament, which is scheduled to begin next Wednesday. Geneva would have at least two home games to begin tournament play in round one and in the semi-final round, which is scheduled for Saturday, February 24th.