Beaver Falls, PA - After an 8-17 record a year ago, Geneva′s men′s basketball team and head coach Jeff Santarsiero could not wait for the new season to tip off. The Golden Tornadoes got their first chance to put that season in the rear view mirror on Friday and did so with a 78-60 victory over Penn State New Kensington in the first round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tip-Off Tournament. The Golden Tornadoes will face Marymount University in the finals on Saturday in an effort to win the Tip-Off Tournament for the first time since 1997.
Geneva used a huge opening run in the first ten minutes to get off to a good start. Leading by as many as 25 in the first half and 32 in the second half, the Golden Tornadoes cruised to an 18 point victory.
Geneva shot 45% from the field in the first 20 minutes and took a 51-28 lead into the locker room. The Golden Tornadoes held the Lions to only seven first half field goals while forcing 26 turnovers for the game. "We have put a real priority on defense this season and the guys got off to a good start on the defensive end of the floor," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "It was a nice way to start the year but we still have a lot of work to do."
Rich Colick and TJ Bevilacqua paced the offense with 14 points each while Brandon Harvey and Lambros Svingos each chipped in with nine points. Svingos also picked up a team best ten rebounds in the victory. The Lions were led by Justin Reed′s game high 23 points on 6-15 shooting from the field.
Geneva will face Marymount in the finals on Saturday before heading to the road against Baldwin-Wallace on Monday and Division I Youngstown State on Tuesday night in Ohio.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College′s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).