Growing Pains, Geneva Falters Down the Stretch Against W & J

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Van Zanic

Director of Sports Information

(724) 847-6886



January 28, 2009


Beaver Falls, PA - The growing pains of the Geneva College men′s basketball program continued on Wednesday night as the Golden Tornadoes watched a 15 point second half lead disappear and fell by the score of 84-82 to Washington & Jefferson to fall to 4-14 on the season. The story was a similar one as the Golden Tornadoes competed against one of the top teams in the Presidents′ Athletic Conference but could not close out the deal in the final minutes.

Geneva College took a 41-36 lead into the halftime break thanks to some impressive long distance shooting from Brandon Harvery. Harvey posted 16 of his 22 points in the first half and helped the Golden Tornadoes to a five point lead after 20 minutes. The Golden Tornadoes continued to drain three pointers early in the second half as David Phillips got into the act. Four minutes into half number two the Golden Tornadoes had stretched the lead to 55-40. Phillips and Harvey combined for 13 three point field goals, including an 8-11 effort from Phillips who finished with a game high 26 points. Despite the shooting barrage, Washington & Jefferson′s veteran club never faltered. "We felt good about how we were playing," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "But we also knew this veteran group was never out of the game. "W & J proved its veteran colors with an impressive comeback that saw them draw even just eight minutes later. The game was tied seven times in the final nine minutes, but it was W & J that got the last laugh.

Josip Lucik-Jozak was 9-9 from the foul line on the night, but it was his final free throws with 5.2 seconds remaining in the game that proved to be the difference. The Golden Tornadoes were unable to get a shot off in the final possession and once again came up on the short end of the scoreboard. "I can′t be prouder of our effort," said Santarsiero. "We are obviously disappointed with the loss, but I am proud of these kids and the way they have not quit on me or the program. We are excited to get back to the gym tomorrow and keep improving."

The Golden Tornadoes lost all three ends of its three-game home stand. They will seek a road victory on Saturday afternoon at Bethany College before returning to Metheny Fieldhouse to face Saint Vincent next Wednesday.