Youngstown, OH – Geneva and Youngstown State used to hook up on an annual basis on the hardwood dating back to the 1950’s and 60’s. However, the two schools had not met since 1971 until Tuesday night when the Division I Penguins defeated Geneva by the score of 88-47. Former Geneva head coach Jerry Slocum, now guiding the Youngstown State program, hooked up with his former assistant and current Geneva coach Jeff Santarsiero for only the second time since Slocum left College Hill. The first meeting was when Slocum coached Gannon University back in 1998. Geneva suffered its third consecutive loss and fell to 1-3 while the Penguins improved to 3-2 on the young season.
Tuesday’s game was the second match-up against a Division I program for the Golden Tornadoes in the past three years. In 2007, the Golden Tornadoes dropped a 107-51 decision to Cleveland State. On this night, Geneva hung around for a bit but trailed by 16 points heading into halftime. Geneva scored seven of the first nine points in the second half and quickly cut YSU’s lead to 11 points before the Penguins took flight and cruised the rest of the way.
Sophomore transfer TJ Bevilacqua was one of Geneva’s bright spots in this one as he posted a career high 17 points on 7-12 shooting including three from outside the arc. Bevilacqua also pulled down a team best eight rebounds in the loss. The only other Geneva player to reach double figures was Rich Colick with a ten point effort.
The Golden Tornadoes shot just 34% from the field including a 6-22 effort from three point range. Geneva also turned the ball over 21 times which continues to be a troubling theme in the early part of the new season. “We knew coming in here was going to be a lot to ask from our guys,” said Santarsiero. “Playing at the Division I level is an exciting opportunity for our players, but it also gives us a sense of reality in terms of what we need to work on as a team and how far we still have to go to get where we want to be by season’s end.”
Santarsiero did relish the opportunity to go head to head with his former boss in Jerry Slocum. “I have so much respect for Jerry and what he has accomplished in his coaching career. We spent a lot of time together on the bench as colleagues and I learned an awful lot from him as a player and as a coach.”
The Golden Tornadoes will get a couple days to refocus their attention as they will welcome LaRoche College to Metheny Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon before beginning PAC play next Wednesday at Washington & Jefferson.
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).
Of Geneva's 96 full-time faculty members, 76% have earned doctorates.