Cleveland, OH - It had been 18 days since the Geneva College men′s basketball team was on the court against another opponent. On Wednesday night, the Golden Tornadoes got back to work in the first round of the Case Western Reserve Tournament. The 18 day lay-off showed in the first half but Geneva was able to recover for an 84-78 comeback victory over Kalamazoo College. The Golden Tornadoes improved to 7-3 on the season thanks to a rally that featured a 17-point comeback.
Kalamazoo had things going its way in the first half as it led by as many as 17 points and took a 50-37 lead into the locker room. Geneva watched its opponent shoot 62% from the field in the first 20 minutes and had virtually no defensive answers. "We gave up 50 points in the first half," said Geneva head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "They played extremely well but our guys came out in the second half and got things done defensively."
Geneva out scored Kalamazoo 47-28 in the second half thanks mostly by its work at the free throw line. The Golden Tornadoes connected on 36-44 from the foul line including a 25-31 mark in the second half. Richard Colick led the way for Geneva with 29 points including a 15-16 effort at the foul line. "They were forced to foul us late and our guys stepped up and made some big foul shots." Geneva trailed for most of the second half but managed to rally back to finally take the lead when Drew Santarsiero connected on his third three point field goal of the game. Santarsiero′s trey lifted Geneva to a 73-71 lead in the final minutes. Dave Phillips, who finished the game with 11 points, knocked down a pair of key free throws in the final seconds to stretch the lead to four points and put Kalamazoo away.
"It was a great team win," said Santarsiero. "A great way to start the second half of the season but we still have much work to do on Thursday." Geneva will face either the host school Case Western or Earlham College in Thursday′s tournament championship at 4 pm. The Golden Tornadoes return home next Monday to face Thomas More at Metheny Fieldhouse at 7:30 pm.
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).