February 21, 2009
CONTACT: Van Zanic
Sports Information Director
FINALE FIZZLES, WESTMINSTER SPOILS THE PARTY
New Wilmington, PA - Geneva College′s men′s basketball team had been playing its best basketball of the season down the stretch and entered its season finale with a chance to pick up its first three game winning streak of the season. Unfortunately for the Golden Tornadoes, most of the breaks down the stretch when the way of Westminster and the Golden Tornadoes dropped an 88-80 decision to their rivals in the season finale. The loss dropped Geneva′s season ending record to 8-17 while Westminster improved to 9-16.
Geneva led by as many as 11 points in the second half and took a 41-38 lead into the locker room. The second half featured a see-saw affair that saw several runs in the final 20 minutes. Trailing 69-63, the Golden Tornadoes scored eight straight points sparked by back to back three point field goals from Brandon Harvey to help grab a 71-69 lead. The Titans quickly responded with a 6-0 run of their own to reclaim the lead. The score was eventually tied at 77-77 on a Rich Colick lay-up with just over two minutes remaining. The last laugh came from the Titans with 11 of the next 12 points to take control of the game. "We put ourselves in a good position to win the game," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "But much like the majority of the season we couldn′t get a key stop and missed a couple of offensive opportunities."
Justin Nardi, who played his final game as a Geneva player on Saturday, posted seven of his nine points in the second half as he saw his brilliant career come to an end. Geneva was led by Rich Colick′s 20 points. Brandon Harvey scored 15 points and teammates Lambros Svingos and Dave Phillips added 11 in the season ending loss. Ryne Murray, the second leading scorer in the PAC, led everyone with 26 points and ten rebounds. Murray was 11-11 from the foul line, including six free throws in the final two minutes.
"I couldn′t be prouder of Justin Nardi," said Santarsiero. "This is a kid that has suffered through major injuries all year and never complained. He is a great example of hard work and determination. We will miss his leadership and his great ability to lead this team. The future is bright, but we still have a lot of work to do."
Geneva College finished with eight victories, which is the lowest win total since winning six games in 1986-87, which was the first season for head coach Jerry Slocum. "Our program certainly came back strong after that season and our hope is to get this thing moving forward again. We can′t wait to get going next year."