Beaver Falls, PA - It has been a long five years since the Geneva College men′s basketball team played a game that would count in the conference standings. After finishing up its NCAA Division III provisional phase last spring, the Golden Tornadoes were on the court Wednesday night for their first test as an official member of the Presidents′ Athletic Conference. Geneva ended up getting a rude welcome to the conference with a 75-63 loss to Thomas More College. The loss was Geneva′s fifth straight and dropped its overall record to 1-5 while the Saints improved to 5-1.
Both teams shot the ball quite well on the night but Thomas More was more consistent from long range while the Golden Tornadoes connected on only 4-16 from three-point range. Conversely, Thomas More shot 69% (9-13) from beyond the arc including a 4-5 effort in the second half.
The Saints opened up a ten point lead at 40-30 after 20 minutes of play. Geneva came out of the locker room with a mission and quickly cut the lead down to four points at 44-40. The Golden Tornadoes could get no closer as Thomas More went on a 21-10 run to open up a 15 point lead. The Saints led by as many as 20 points in the second half before settling for a 12-point decision. "We had some chances to get closer and make things interesting but we just didn′t hit a big shot when we needed to tonight," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "They are a very physical team and I felt as though we matched them up pretty well in the post but they just shot the ball extremely well from the perimeter."
Geneva got a boost in the post with the early return to action from Lambros Svingos. After missing the last four games, Svingos came off the bench to score ten points and grab four rebounds. Pat Johnson also came off the bench to score ten points for Geneva. Matt Lorello, who entered the game as Geneva′s leading scorer, kept up his torrid offensive pace with a game high 22 points on 9-11 shooting from the field.
Thomas More featured a balanced offensive attack with four players in double figures including a team best 14 points from Phil Feinberg to go along with 11 rebounds. The Saints shot 52% from the field in the second half and 49% for the game.
The Golden Tornadoes will go on the road on Saturday in search of their first PAC victory and try to put an end to their five game slide when they face Bethany College at 4 pm. Geneva returns to Metheny Fieldhouse next Wednesday to host Waynesburg University 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).