Washington, PA - When the Geneva College men′s basketball season tipped off in November, one of the team goals was to reach 13 regular season victories. Win number 13 would guarantee a winning regular season and lock up a chance to compete in the NCCAA post-season. The Golden Tornadoes picked up victory number 13 on Saturday afternoon but the goals have certainly changed in the last three months. Geneva defeated Washington & Jefferson 77-69 on Saturday to improve its record to 13-4 and push its season long win streak to four games. The Golden Tornadoes have also won seven of their last eight games and are off to their best start since a 15-4 mark in the second year of Jeff Santarsiero′s head coaching tenure in 1997.
Win number 13 did not come without a fight as Geneva and W & J battled to a 34-34 tie after 20 minutes of play. In fact, Geneva enjoyed a 12 point advantage midway through the first half, but the President′s came back to tie the game before the halftime buzzer. "It was not a thing of beauty," said Santarsiero. "When you go on the road in this league it is always going to be a battle and we found a way down the stretch."
In a game that featured 12 ties and seven lead changes, Geneva watched W & J take its final lead of 58-57 at the 7:11 mark. With the score tied for the 12th and final time at 62-62 with 3:34 to play, the first of two Bryan Hill jump shots went down as the senior guard scored the next five points to give Geneva the lead for good. Geneva knocked down ten consecutive free throws in the final two minutes to ice the game away and improve to 13-4. "Learning how to win has been an important piece of the puzzle this year," said Santarsiero. "Making free throws down the stretch is a huge part of this game and our guy′s responded big time today."
Richard Colick led the way with 19 points including a perfect 6-6 from the foul line. Bryan Hill, who was held scoreless in the first half, scored 15 second half points including three treys and 4-5 from the foul line. Bryce Salomone and Jon Drayer combined for 17 points off the bench to lift the Golden Tornadoes past the President′s.
Geneva will look to extend its season long win streak on Wednesday night against PAC front runner Thiel College at 7:30 pm at Metheny Fieldhouse.
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).