Director of Sports Information
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2007
BENCH MARK DAY, SUPER SUBS SPARK 2nD HALF RALLY
Beaver Falls, PA - Geneva′s men′s basketball team was without leading scorer Greg McDivitt for the second straight game and the Golden Tornadoes got into early foul trouble against LaRoche College on Saturday. Geneva rallied for a 78-73 victory on the strength of a 49 point second half that was sparked by the Golden Tornadoes bench. The victory moved Geneva to 3-1 on the young season as LaRoche dropped to 1-3.
Starting guards Justin Nardi and Bryan Hill each picked up two fouls in the first five minutes of the game which forced them to the bench for the remainder of the half. After jumping out to a 14-7 lead, Geneva watched LaRoche score 23 of the next 27 points to open a 30-18 lead with 6:04 to play in the first half. Geneva was able to scratch and claw its way back to within seven points at 36-29 by the end of the first 20 minutes.
Bryan Hill′s jumper with 16:05 to play cut LaRoche′s lead to just one at 39-38 and Geneva took its first lead of the second half at the 14:22 mark when Ryan Burns hit one of his three treys in the game. While Hill and Burns led Geneva in the scoring column it was the hustle of Nathan Reep and Rob Whitt off the bench that may have saved the day. "We won this game with our depth," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "Nathan has played with great consistency all year and Rob came in and did exactly what we asked of him, which turned out to be the difference."
Reep finished the game with eight points and six rebounds, including the biggest rebound of the game. After Hill missed a free throw in the final 30 seconds, Reep managed to sneak in for an offensive rebound that resulted in another LaRoche foul. Reep knocked in both foul shots to seal the victory. Midway through the first half, Rob Whitt scored six points and pulled down four rebounds in a four minute stretch that saw Geneva take the game away.
"When you are playing without your center and leading scorer, you have to out work your opponent," said Santarsiero. "I was thrilled with our effort in the second half and these guys really earned this victory against a quality opponent."
Hill finished the game with a team best 20 points, while Burns added 16 points and Matt Blocki scored 11 points in a replacement role at the center position..
"Some of our guys are really gaining confidence with this chance to get quality minutes. Hopefully that confidence will carry over to the rest of the season."
Geneva won′t be back in game action until next Friday night when it hosts Grove City College for its first game within the Presidents′ Athletic Conference. A week from Saturday Geneva travels to NCAA Division I Cleveland State.