Beaver Falls, PA - It has been 13 years since the Geneva College men′s basketball team opened the season with a pair of victories. On Saturday afternoon, the Golden Tornadoes won their own Tip-Off Tournament with a 90-74 victory over Hiram College to open the season with a 2-0 record. Less than 24 hours after cruising past Penn State Greater Allegheny, Geneva took care of business against Hiram in Saturday′s championship round. Geneva won its Tip-Off Tournament in 2004, but it has been since 1997 since Geneva opened the year with a 2-0 mark.
Trailing 26-17 mid-way through the first half, Geneva ended the half by outscoring the Terriers 24-9 in the final nine minutes to take a 41-35 lead into the break. "The end of the second half was huge for our guys," said Geneva head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "We finally got into our offense and more importantly got some big stops along the way. Once we were able to relax, we played a much better team game."
Rich Colick, the tournament most valuable player, led the scoring for Geneva with 26 points on 8-12 shooting from the field. Bryan Hill and Lambros Svingos chipped in with 19 points each with Svingos coming up with a game high 14 rebounds. While shutting down Hiram′s offense in the second half, the Golden Tornadoes shot 56% from the field in the final 20 minutes and opened up a double digit lead at the 12 minute mark and never looked back.
"We have some experienced guys out there and I think our post-season run last year really helped this team learn how to close out games. We got them on the ropes and were able to put them away late in the game."
Hiram was led by Andrew Wiegand′s 27 point performance with 20 of those points coming in the first half. Wiegand and teammate Chris Roberts were named to the All-Tournament team along with Geneva′s Bryan Hill. The other All-Tournament team members included Chris Davis from Otterbein and Darius Prince from Penn State Greater Allegheny.
Taking a 2-0 record into next week, the Golden Tornadoes will host Baldwin-Wallace on Tuesday night before traveling to LaRoche College next Saturday afternoon.
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).