Anderson, IN – Geneva’s men’s basketball team faced its most difficult challenge of the early season in the first round of the Anderson University Classic on Friday night. The Golden Tornadoes dropped a 52-47 decision to 29th ranked Taylor University to end their three-game winning streak and fall to 4-2 on the season.
Despite the loss, senior Kyle McDermott became the 33rd player in school history to surpass the 1000 point mark with a team leading 17 points. McDermott needed 15 points coming into Friday’s action and the senior was able to reach the mark despite the Golden Tornadoes fall just short in the second half.
With the game tied under two minutes to play, Taylor took a two-point lead, which was cut in half when Greg McDivitt split a pair of free throws with 1:35 to play. With Taylor leading Geneva 50-47 in the last half minute, Bryan Hill’s three-point attempt rimmed out and the Golden Tornadoes ended up with a five-point loss. Geneva had trouble from the perimeter all night in shooting just 2-12, including Hill’s 2-9 effort from outside the arc.
Jermaine Ferguson again helped Geneva’s cause with 13 points, while Greg McDivitt led the Golden Tornadoes with 12 boards in the loss. Geneva shot a solid 46% from the field for the game and held Taylor to just 40%, however, the Trojans were more successful from three-point range and they forced the Golden Tornadoes into 21 turnovers.
“This could have been the most physical game a Geneva team has played in three or four years,” said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. “The guys were really getting after it and banging each other around pretty good all night. The officials let both teams play and we just came up a bit short. I was very proud of the effort. We played extremely hard against a very good opponent.”
Geneva will face Indiana University-East on Saturday afternoon in the second game of the Anderson University tournament. The Golden Tornadoes will return home next Wednesday night to face Grove City College at Metheny Fieldhouse.
Geneva College hosts a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honors society open to English and Writing majors of high academic standing.