Bethany, WV – The Geneva College men’s basketball team was seeking its first five-game win streak since early in the 2005. The Golden Tornadoes will need to start a new streak after Christmas following a 76-64 loss at Bethany on Saturday afternoon. Geneva dropped to 5-4 on the season while Bethany improved to 5-3. A slow start in the first half coupled with a 22-6 Bethany run midway through the second half proved to be too much for the Golden Tornadoes to overcome.
The Bison opened the game by jumping in front 16-7 less than five minutes into the contest. Trailing by as many as 11 points in the first stanza, the Golden Tornadoes rallied for their first lead at the 5:56 mark of the first half at 24-23 on a Brandon Harvey lay-up. That one point lead was Geneva’s last of the ball game as the first half ended with Bethany holding a 35-30 lead. Bethany opened a 44-34 lead 3 ½ minutes into the second half before Geneva ran off 16 of the next 22 points to draw even at 50-50 midway through the second half. It was at that point that Bethany broke the game open with a 22-6 run over the next seven minutes to open up a 72-56 lead. “We seemed to be running up hill all game,” said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. “We used so much energy to come back that we were unable to maintain that level through the entire game.”
Geneva got solid contributions from its starting five but was outscored 23-9 by the Bethany bench. The Golden Tornadoes shot a solid 46% from the field for the game but turned the ball over 21 times in the loss. Bethany knocked down ten three-point field goals, including a 6-11 effort in the final 20 minutes. “They shot the ball extremely well in the second half and we did not do a good enough job on the defensive end of the floor,” said Santarsiero. “If you are going to win these types of games on the road, you have to do a better job of shutting down things defensively.”
Rich Colick, Geneva’s leading scorer coming into the game, posted 20 points on 6-9 shooting from the field and a perfect 6-6 from the line. Lambros Svingos added 13 points and six rebounds. Dave Phillips was Geneva’s other player with double figures scoring ten points in the loss. “We need to get bigger contributions from some other players. We can’t expect to win big games without a solid effort from everyone on the roster.”
Geneva will get some time to lick its wounds before heading back into action. The Golden Tornadoes will head to Florida after Christmas with games against Florida Tech and Flagler on December 29th and 30th. After a stopover at Thomas More on January 2nd, the Golden Tornadoes return home to face Saint Vincent on January 7th.
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).