Director of Sports Information
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2009
COMEBACK EFFORT FALLS SHORT IN
200th MEETING BETWEEN RIVALS
Beaver Falls, PA - The 200th meeting between Geneva College and Westminster almost turned into miraculous comeback for the home standing Golden Tornadoes. In the end, the Titans hung on in defeating Geneva for the first time since 1999 in an 82-77 decision. The Golden Tornadoes had defeated Westminster nine consecutive times before Wednesday as Geneva College′s men′s team fell to 4-12 and Westminster improved to 5-12, including five wins in its last seven games.
Westminster opened up a commanding 47-28 lead at halftime and quickly extended its lead to a game high 24 points at 54-30 with just over 16 minutes to play. The Golden Tornadoes put together a 17-3 run that cut the lead to ten points at 57-47 before the Titans once again extended the lead back out to 19. It was at that point that Richard Colick, who was scoreless in the first half, decided to bring Geneva back. Colick scored all 16 of his points in the second half including 3-4 from three point range. David Phillips carried Geneva early and finished the game with a team best 25 points. "We needed are veterans to lead us back into the game and we had some guys step up and respond," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. While Colick was busy with his 16 second half points, senior point guard Justin Nardi scored all of his eight points in the second half.
Geneva′s frantic comeback hit a fevered pitch when a Colick running jump shot trimmed the lead to 74-73 with still over two minutes to play. On Westminster′s next possession, Ryne Murray, the game′s leading scorer with 27 points, hit the biggest shot of the game. With the shot clock at one second, Murray hit a turn around 26 footer to extend the lead to four points and Geneva could not overcome the deficit. "Big players make big plays late in games," said Santarsiero. "Murray is an exceptional talent and he beat us with a big shot. You have to tip your cap."
Murray got help from teammates Bobby Glass with 17 points and Anthony DeFelice who scored 11 in the victory. For Geneva, Lambros Svingos picked up 16 points and a team best ten rebounds.
"We put ourselves in a tough spot early, but showed a lot of character to rally back. We just didn′t have enough to get over the hump."
Geneva will continue its three-game home stand on Saturday night when it hosts Grove City College for the 142nd edition of that rivalry.