Beaver Falls, PA - Whatever was on the Thanksgiving Day menu for the Geneva College men′s basketball team, it certainly served as a pick me up for the Golden Tornadoes as they cruised past LaRoche on Saturday afternoon by the score of 72-49. The Golden Tornadoes improved to 2-3 while LaRoche fell to 3-2 on the season.
Despite a hot shooting start to the game for Geneva, it was LaRoche that took the early control on the scoreboard. The Redhawks rushed out to a 14-8 lead just five minutes into the game. Fighting from behind for most of the first half, the Golden Tornadoes finally managed to even the game at 25-25 on a pair of Rich Colick free throws at the six minute mark. From that point, the Golden Tornadoes outscored LaRoche 11-3 to end the first half with a 36-28 lead. Both teams shot well in the first half with LaRoche posting a 50% mark from the field and Geneva shooting 14-25 (56%) in the first 20 minutes.
Geneva head coach Jeff Santarsiero has been preaching defense from the first day of practice and in the second half the Golden Tornadoes took his words to heart. Geneva allowed just 21 second half points and held LaRoche to only nine fields. Meanwhile, Geneva′s offense was clicking on all cylinders with a 71% (15-21) shooting mark from the field in the final 20 minutes.
Leading 38-30 with 17:53 to play in the second half, the Golden Tornadoes went on a 23-10 run over the next ten minutes to extend their lead to 21 points at 61-40. Geneva led by as many as 26 points down the stretch and settled for a 23 point victory that put an end to its early season three-game losing streak. "We needed a game like this," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "We really haven′t shot the ball very well in the first couple weeks, but I was very happy with our offensive execution today. Hopefully, the guys got a look at what can happen when the offense is run correctly."
Rich Colick led all scorers with 18 points on 8-9 shooting from the field. Dave Phillips added 11 points and TJ Bevilacqua added ten in the victory. Lambros Svingos pulled down a game high eight rebounds to go along with six points. LaRoche was led by Nate Wojciechowski and Dylan Grazier with nine points each. "After the first few minutes of the game, we played extremely hard on the defensive end of the floor," said Santarsiero. "This was definitely our most complete effort of the season."
Geneva will open PAC play on Wednesday night at Washington & Jefferson before returning to Metheny Fieldhouse next Saturday afternoon to host Thiel.
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).