Oakland City, IN – It was another day and another top quality opponent for the Geneva College men’s basketball team at the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) tournament. Having fallen to Mid-Continent on the first day of the tournament, the Golden Tornadoes rebounded with an impressive 79-76 win over Mid-America Christian to move their overall record to 17-12 on the season. The victory moves Geneva into Saturday’s fifth place game against Palm Beach Atlantic.
Trailing for most of the game, Geneva fell behind by its largest margin of ten points at 48-38 with 14 minutes left in the second half. Slowly crawling back into the game, the lead was trimmed to one point at the 4:59 mark on a Brandon Sopko jump shot. Geneva finally tied the score at 74-74 on a Richard Colick jumper at the 1:30 mark of the second half. Bryan Hill gave Geneva its first second half lead with a three point field goal with 17 seconds remaining. Leading 77-76, Geneva got a defensive stop and a pair of Nathan Reep free throws to ice the game away.
It was fitting that Reep put the game away as the senior forward scored a career high 22 points to go along with a team best eight rebounds. “Nate Reep was absolutely huge for us today,” said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. Reep was 6-8 from the field and a perfect 10-10 from the foul line on Friday. “We preach to the guys how important the free throw line is in games like this and we were able to take advantage.” Geneva was 27-30 from the foul line for the game, including a 16-18 mark in the second half.
Richard Colick was hampered with foul trouble for most of the game but still finished with 15 points with Hill coming in at 11 points including three treys. “Bryan has hit big shots for us all year and he came up big again.”
The Golden Tornadoes will be seeking their 18th victory of the season on Saturday in the fifth place game against #8 seed and NCAA Division II opponent Palm Beach Atlantic.
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).