Cleveland, OH – Offense sells tickets and defense wins championships is how the saying goes and on Thursday afternoon the Geneva College men’s basketball team made that saying become a reality. The Golden Tornadoes locked down their defensive effort in the championship game of the Case Western Reserve Tournament as Geneva defeated the hosts by the score of 71-64. The victory improved Geneva’s overall record to 8-3 while Case Western fell to 3-7.
Geneva’s defense held Case to 34% shooting from the field and allowed just 11 field goals in each half. A night after rallying from 17 points down to defeat Kalamazoo, the Golden Tornadoes held off Case after taking a 33-32 lead into the halftime locker room. “Our defense was there all night,” said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. “There are going to be nights when the defense has to get it done and tonight was a perfect example. Especially on the road, we have to stick to our defensive principles and every guy did that for us tonight.”
While the defense got things done on one end of the floor, it was the likes of tournament MVP Richard Colick and All-Tournament selection David Phillips who got things going on offense. Colick scored a game high 18 points while Phillips scored 11 for the second straight game while also pulling down a team high eight rebounds. “”We left a lot of points out there tonight,” said Santarsiero. “We did not execute great on offense but our guys stepped up when they had to and made some big shots. David (Phillips) especially had a very special tournament.”
Geneva never trailed in the second half but Case Western cut the lead to just two points at 56-54 with 5:09 remaining in the game. Two Colick free throws followed by a Colick jumper lifted the lead back to six and Case would never get any closer down the stretch. “Our guys are learning how to win and learning how to close out games. Hopefully this will be something that becomes a trend the rest of the season.”
Geneva returns to action on Monday night at home when it welcomes Thomas More to Metheny Fieldhouse for a 7:30 pm tip-off.
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).