Centre, KY – Through the first 12 games of the new season, Geneva head men’s basketball coach Jeff Santarsiero had seen his team become overly careless with the basketball. In fact, coming into the opening round of the Centre College Holiday Tournament on Friday, Geneva was averaging close to 23 turnovers a game. In its first action in 13 days, the Golden Tornadoes continued their struggles protecting the basketball in a 73-60 loss to Messiah College. The loss dropped Geneva’s overall record to 7-6, while Messiah moved to 8-1.
Geneva committed 22 turnovers in the loss, while Messiah was guilty of just 11 miscues. Trailing 34-30 at halftime, the Golden Tornadoes watched Messiah out score them 39-30 in the final 20 minutes to pull away for the victory. Foul trouble again hindered Geneva as it committed 25 team fouls, including four costly fouls to starting forward Greg McDivitt that forced the junior into just six minutes on the floor. While McDivitt was held scoreless for the first time this season, teammate Kyle McDermott led the Golden Tornadoes with 18 points. Jermaine Ferguson added 11 points and Bryan Hill chipped in with 10 points in a losing effort.
Geneva managed just nine second half field goals in what turned out to be a defensive struggle. Messiah nailed seven three-point field goals to match Geneva’s output, but it managed 17 more field goal attempts in the victory.
“This one was disappointing,” said Santarsiero. “We got ourselves into early foul trouble, which really hurt what we were trying to do and we never got in an offensive rhythm.”
Geneva cut the lead to just three points with less than eight minutes remaining, but a Jermaine Ferguson dunk was disallowed on an offensive foul and Messiah took advantage and never looked back. “There were some key moments in the game where we had a chance to get over the hump, but we just came up short.”
Geneva will get back into action on Saturday afternoon against