Beaver Falls, PA – The Geneva men’s basketball team was in search of its first four-game winning streak in three years. The Golden Tornadoes managed to reach their goal with a 79-78 victory over Thiel College at Metheny Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon. Geneva survived a late game surge that saw the Tomcats cut an 11 point Geneva lead in the final five minutes of the game down to only one in the waning seconds of regulation.
With the last shot of the game, Thiel’s Devon Adams saw his running one-hander bounce off the rim into the waiting arms of Geneva’s Matt Blocki as time expired. With that miss, the Golden Tornadoes improved to 5-3 on the season including its first four game winning streak since pulling off the trick late in 2006. “We knew this Thiel club was much improved and they were going to be a handful,” said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. “Give them a lot of credit for coming at us all game, but our guys stepped up when they needed to and got us a big victory heading into a week of rest.”
The Golden Tornadoes will enjoy a full week away from the court before traveling to Bethany College next Saturday in the final game before taking three weeks off for the Christmas break.
The first half belonged to sophomore Lambros Svingos with 12 points on 4-5 shooting from the field. Svingos finished the game with a team high 16 points while Bryan Hill added 12 points and Dave Phillips chipped in with ten. All of Hill’s points came from behind the arc on 4-5 shooting from long distance. Geneva’s leading scorer Rich Colick was held to nine points on 2-5 shooting as he was hampered with foul problems through much of the game.
“It is nice to see other guys step up when some of our key components get into foul trouble,” said Santarsiero. “We got big minutes off the bench from Bryan (Hill), Nate (Reep), Brandon (Sopko) and Matt (Blocki).” Geneva’s bench outscored Thiel’s substitutes 26-6 in the game.
Geneva opened up an 11 point lead on three separate occasions in the second half but could not deliver the knock-out punch. Geneva had possession with a 71-60 lead in the final four minutes, but Thiel rallied back for a late game surge.
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).