Beaver Falls, PA - Geneva needed to be perfect in its final week of the regular season to avoid the PAC play-in game on Monday night between the eighth and ninth seeded teams. The Golden Tornadoes did exactly that by capping off a three-game winning streak on Saturday night with an 84-80 overtime victory over Westminster. The result of Saturday′s victory pits Geneva at second seed Thomas More in the first round of the Presidents′ Athletic Conference Tournament. Westminster must head to Waynesburg for the play-in game with the winner facing top seeded Saint Vincent on Monday. The Golden Tornadoes ended the regular season with an overall record of 5-20 including a 4-12 mark in the PAC.
Geneva led by as many as eight points in the first half but the Titans went on an 11-3 run to end the first half to tie the score at 30-30 heading into the break. Geneva opened up a 55-48 lead with 4:58 remaining in regulation and led 62-56 with just over a minute to play. Westminster would not give in and when the Titans′ Doug Smith knocked down a three-pointer with ten seconds left in regulation, the game was forced into overtime.
The overtime took on a familiar look as Geneva opened up a seven point lead with 1:19 left but the Titans again battled back. Trailing by three points in the final seconds, Geneva fouled Anthony Thomas on a three-point attempt. Thomas made only the first free throw and Tyler Damazo made a pair for Geneva to put the game away.
Damazo came off the bench for Geneva to score a career high 20 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Matt Lorello scored 19 points for Geneva and Jordan Harbison added 15 points for the Golden Tornadoes. DJ Damazo, playing his final home game as a senior, scored 11 points and added four assists. Damazo, Keynon Jackson, Lorello and Brian Rice each played their final home game for the Golden Tornadoes. However, Geneva has work left to be done as it will leave Monday for a Tuesday night tip-off in the opening round of the PAC Tournament.
"We are playing our best basketball of the season," said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. "We are heading to Kentucky to win a basketball game. If we play well, we can play with any team in the conference."
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).