Beaver Falls, PA – In what turned out to be a microcosm of the Geneva men’s basketball season, the Golden Tornadoes took Notre Dame College to the wire and then some, but ultimately saw their season come to an end with a 94-93 overtime loss in the first round of the American Mideast Conference Tournament.
Geneva led by eight points at halftime and led by as many as 14 points in the second half before watching Jerome Pierce put Notre Dame on his back and carry his ball club into the AMC semi-finals. Pierce put up an incredible 45 points to lead his team to their 18th victory of the season. For the Golden Tornadoes, they finished the regular season with a 14-16 campaign.
Geneva certainly didn’t come away without its chances. At the end of regulation, the Falcons tied the game at the buzzer on a shot that was very close to coming after the buzzer, but was allowed by the officials. In overtime, the Golden Tornadoes had a chance to turn the tables as Richard Colick came down the middle of the lane as the time was ticking down as he went up for a lay-up at the buzzer, but his attempt fell out and the Golden Tornadoes came up just short of advancing into the semi-finals.
While Pierce carried Notre Dame into the next round, Jermaine Ferguson did all he could to help Geneva’s cause. Ferguson saw his career come to an end with a season best 31 points on 13-24 shooting from the field. Despite Colick’s miss at the buzzer, he enjoyed a career high 17 points on a 7-8 effort from the field, with his only miss coming ironically at the end of the overtime session.
Geneva may have seen its chances go by the boards at the foul line. While Notre Dame was busy making 20-27 from the charity stripe, the Golden Tornadoes were just 10-24 from the foul line, including 1-6 in overtime.
“Clearly a frustrating and disappointing way to end the season,” said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. “We played hard and had a great chance to move on, but we just didn’t get it done and it will hurt for a while.”
While Geneva’s season ends, Notre Dame moves on to the semi-finals in a contest on the road at Mt. Vernon Nazarene. The winner of that semi-final match-up will move on to the championship game scheduled for next Tuesday.
Geneva is one of only 118 colleges in the U.S. to be approved for membership in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), and is a founding member.