Beaver Falls, PA - The Geneva College men′s basketball team has only lost four games all season. On Wednesday night, they got some revenge against one of those four teams. The Golden Tornadoes defeated first place Thiel College by the score of 80-77 to improve their record to 14-4 and push their current win streak to five games. Geneva has also won eight of the last nine games and improved to 8-1 on its home court.
The Golden Tornadoes opened up a nine-point first half lead only to see Thiel come storming back to take a 35-34 lead at the halftime buzzer. Both teams struggled from the field in the first half combining for five three point field goals on 23 attempts. Both teams heated up nicely in the final 20 minutes with the lead going back and forth seven times in the final stanza. "This is the most athletic team in our league," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "We knew what they were about and we knew how difficult it was going to be all night. Our guys came to play on the defensive end of the floor and we did enough on offense to get it done."
With 11:05 remaining in the second half, Thiel opened up a seven point lead at 58-51. The Golden Tornadoes scored ten of the next 12 points to grab a 61-60 lead at the 8:12 mark on a Rich Colick lay-up. The Tomcats found a way to rally back and regained a four point lead at 68-64 with exactly five minutes left to play. Bryan Hill, the leading three point shooter in the PAC, was shut-down for most of the night but came up big when it counted the most. Hill made cut the lead to one at the 3:53 mark and made his third trey of the night to give Geneva a 74-72 lead at the 1:53 mark. "Bryan′s shots were huge," said Santarsiero. "They did a great job on him all night but he has unlimited range and made two huge shots."
Geneva never relinquished the lead thanks to some impressive work at the foul line. The Golden Tornadoes were 26-29 from the stripe for the game and knocked down 14-15 foul shots in the second half. Richard Colick was a perfect 10-10 from the foul line and led all scorers with 30 points. Hill finished with 15 points and Lambros Svingos chipped in with 11 in the victory. Thiel got 19 points each from Lance Randall and Devon Adams. "This was a great win for our guys," said Santarsiero. "Thiel is in first place in the PAC and we were able to find a way to get it done."
The Golden Tornadoes head to the road for games at Bethany on Saturday and Thomas More next Wednesday. Geneva returns home on February 5th looking to avenge an early season loss against 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).