Beaver Falls, PA - March madness has officially come to Beaver Falls and the Geneva College men′s basketball team. The Golden Tornadoes continued their improbable run through the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) east regional tournament on Saturday with an 81-74 victory over NCAA Division II Nyack College. The Golden Tornadoes, who moved to 16-11 on the season, defeated their second consecutive scholarship program to advance to the national tournament for the second time in three years.
Nyack seemingly had control early in the game and took a 37-32 lead into the halftime locker room. In the first four minutes of the second stanza, the Golden Tornadoes outscored Nyack by seven points to jump on top by a pair. Midway through the first half, Geneva led 55-49, but it was the Warriors that responded in kind. A total of six lead changes in the final seven minutes highlighted a very entertaining battle. Geneva finally extended its lead to 69-64 with just over two minutes to play. Despite their efforts, Nyack came up short as Geneva put the game away from the line.
Coming into action, Geneva was eyeing two potential milestones and both were reached in impressive fashion. Junior Rich Colick scored a game high 30 points and became the 34th player in school history to reach the 1000 point plateau. Head coach Jeff Santarsiero, who played and coached at Nyack, won his 300th career game. "What an exciting time for our program," said Santarsiero. "To win this game against this type of talent and with so much on the line speaks volumes of how well we are playing right now. I can′t say enough about Rick (Colick). He took over the game in the second half and we all just went along for the ride."
Colick was 12-19 from the field for his 30 points while teammate Dave Phillips picked up 14 points on four three-point field goals. Sophomore Lambros Svingos had nine points and ten rebounds in the victory.
The Golden Tornadoes will move on to the national tournament in Oakland City, IN on March 18-20.
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).