Beaver Falls, PA - After four years of sitting on the sidelines and watching the rest of the Presidents′ Athletic Conference have all the fun in its post-season tournament, the Geneva College men′s basketball program is finally primed to join the party on Tuesday night. The Golden Tornadoes went through a four-year NCAA Division III provisional phase after transferring from the NAIA and the 2011-12 campaign is the first that Geneva can move forward in the conference tournament.
Following a 100-85 victory over Westminster on Saturday night in the regular season finale, the Golden Tornadoes locked up the sixth seed in the PAC and will travel to Kentucky on Tuesday night to battled third seed Thomas More College at 7:30 pm. Geneva hasn′t exactly seen its season play out exactly how it would have like with an overall mark of 6-19 and a 5-11 record in league play. However, Geneva certainly put everything together on Saturday night and hopes that momentum will carry into this week′s tournament. "We certainly have a lot of talent," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "We could be a very scary team to play against but we have to have a team effort for 40 minutes or our play-off run will be very short-lived."
Santarsiero watched his senior trio of David Phillips, Lambros Svingos and son Drew Santarsiero put up 74 of the teams 100 points on Saturday night. Following an emotional senior day ceremony it was that senior class that stepped up in a big way to end Geneva′s five game losing streak. "We need those guys for production and leadership," said Santarsiero. "They know what it takes to be successful and hopefully we can run into a hot streak and have some fun this week."
The PAC tournament tips off on Monday night at Westminster when the eighth seeded Titans host ninth seeded Waynesburg in a play-in game that will decide top seeded Bethany′s opponent on Tuesday night. The other quarter-final games include Washington & Jefferson at Thiel and Grove City at Saint Vincent. The highest remaining seeds will host semi-final games on Thursday night with the highest seed left in the tournament hosting the conference title game on Saturday night. At stake is an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III national tournament.
"It′s been a long four years to wait for our program to experience a conference tournament," said Santarsiero. "Hopefully for our guys and for Geneva College, the wait will be worth it."
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.