Lakeland, FL - The Geneva College men′s basketball team escaped the cold weather of Western Pennsylvania for the warm temperatures of the sunshine state this week. On Tuesday night, the Golden Tornadoes were in action for the first time in 17 days as they dropped an 82-66 decision to Florida Tech College. The Golden Tornadoes dropped to 5-5 on the season while Division II Florida Tech improved to 10-1. Geneva was facing the first of two Florida opponents in as many nights after heading to Florida the day after Christmas.
The 17 day lay-off took its toll early in the game as the Golden Tornadoes fell behind 43-32 after 20 minutes. Geneva shot just 43% from the field, including only 2-11 from three point range, in the first half and allowed Florida Tech to shoot 52% as a team. "It is always a tough situation to come out and play after such a long lay-off," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "They are an outstanding team and we needed to be at our best and it took too long for us to get into the flow."
Geneva did get into the flow in the second half. Trailing by as many as 14 points just 1 Â½ minutes into the second half, the Golden Tornadoes made a run and cut the lead under ten and got within five at 71-66 on a Rich Colick lay-up with 3:12 to play. Geneva could not put any closer and Florida Tech iced the game away down the stretch with the game′s final 11 points. Geneva missed its final ten shots from the field in the last three minutes. "We played very hard in the second half and gave ourselves a chance, but we were not able to get over the hump in the final minutes."
Rich Colick led Geneva′s offense with 18 points as Dave Phillips (15) and Brandon Harvey (13) also reached double figures for the Golden Tornadoes. "We got some good contributions, but we didn′t get enough help from our bench."
The Golden Tornadoes will complete their Florida swing on Wednesday night with a visit to Flagler University. Geneva will head directly to Kentucky after the New Year for a date with Thomas More on January 2nd. The Golden Tornadoes return home on January 7th to host Saint Vincent College.
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).