Beaver Falls, PA – The Geneva College men’s basketball team hadn’t lost a home opener in seven years. On Friday night, it appeared that the Golden Tornadoes would continue that winning streak as it rushed out to an early 15 point lead. Pitt-Greensburg quickly turned the tables on Geneva and held off the Golden Tornadoes for a 63-60 decision at Metheny Fieldhouse. The loss dropped Geneva back to the .500 mark at 1-1 while UPG improved to 2-0.
When Trevor York put in a lay-up at the 11 minute mark of the first half, the Golden Tornadoes were clicking on all cylinders as they jumped out to a 26-11 lead. Geneva managed just six points in the next 14 minutes as the Bobcats made a frenzied comeback and led by as many fourteen points in the second half. Pitt-Greensburg opened up its biggest lead at 49-35 with 14:20 left in the second half but the Golden Tornadoes were not done yet. Geneva came rushing back and came within a missed three-pointer at the buzzer from sending the game into overtime. UPG did its part to let Geneva hang around with four consecutive missed free throws down the stretch, but Pat Johnson’s three –point attempt with four seconds missed as did David Phillips’ attempt at the buzzer. In fact, it was the three-point shooting woes of Geneva that may have cost it the game. The Golden Tornadoes were just 5-23 from long distance including a 2-12 mark in the second half. “We just couldn’t make a big shot,” said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. “We had a chance to blow this game wide open early and we didn’t take advantage of it.”
Pitt-Greensburg shot 60% from the field in the first half and finished with a mark of 56% for the game. Meanwhile, the Golden Tornadoes shot just 37% from the field. “We did not get up for this game on the defensive end of the floor,” said Santarsiero. “Give them credit for executing their offense, but we didn’t do anything to stop it.”
Offensively, Geneva was led by 22 points and eight rebounds from Matt Lorello. Dave Phillips accounted for 12 points on just 4-17 shooting from the field including 1-9 from three-point range.
“When you don’t make shots, it makes it real difficult to come back. Our guys did a good job in fighting to the final buzzer but we put ourselves in a very difficult position.” Geneva will have little time to recover as it will play host to the University of Mt. Union on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm on day two of the Geneva College Coaches vs. Cancer Tip-Off Tournament. Mt. Union defeated Grove City College in overtime in the first game of the day on Friday.
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).