January 31, 2009
CONTACT: Van Zanic
Sports Information Director
YOUNG TEAM COMES OF AGE IN VICTORY AT BETHANY
Bethany, WV - Geneva′s men′s basketball team seemed to have everything stacked against it on Saturday afternoon as they traveled to Bethany College to face the Bison at Hummel Fieldhouse, a venue that has seen the Bison post an .814 winning percentage in the last nine years. The Golden Tornadoes bucked that trend and pulled out a 78-74 victory over the Bison to complete the season series sweep against the defending PAC champions. The victory moved Geneva to 5-14 while Bethany fell to 11-9.
Head coach Jeff Santarsiero saw a familiar script being written as his team took a 13 point lead into the halftime break and allowed another opponent to creep back into the contest. The difference this time was that the Golden Tornadoes never allowed Bethany to regain the lead in the second half despite making a late game charge that saw them twice get within one point. Leading 63-62 with 4:03 left in regulation, the Golden Tornadoes went on an 11-4 run to extend the lead to eight points on a pair of free throws from Justin Nardi. Bethany crept back to within three points at the 55 second mark. The lead remained three when Brandon Harvey knocked down a pair of key free throws with eight seconds remaining in the game. Richard Colick iced the game away with two free throws of his own with three seconds left and Geneva held on for a victory that put an end to its three-game losing skid.
"This is the type of victory we have been searching for," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero said. "To be a veteran team in their building and do it down the stretch could be a big turnaround for this group. They have never quit on me or this program and it feels great to see them rewarded for that hard work."
Four players finished the game in double figures for Geneva led by Colick′s 19 points. Colick also pulled down nine rebounds. Lambros Svingos scored 18 points and added a team best ten rebounds in the victory. Nardi and Dave Phillips added 14 points in the victory. The Bison were led by Lance Beckwith′s 27 points off the bench including his 14-17 effort from the foul line.
Geneva will try to build off of this victory on Wednesday night when it hosts Saint Vincent College at Metheny Fieldhouse at 7:30 pm