Beaver Falls, PA – The Geneva College men’s basketball team needed a victory in the worst way and got exactly that on Saturday afternoon with an 81-74 decision over the Presidents of Washington & Jefferson College. The victory snapped a five game losing streak for the Golden Tornadoes and pushed their overall record to 4-11. More importantly, Geneva jumped past W & J in the PAC standings to move into fifth place with a 3-4 conference mark.
Geneva used a stingy defensive effort along with clutch foul shooting down the stretch to secure its fourth victory of the season. W & J led briefly just one minute into the game but the Golden Tornadoes quickly took control and led by as many as 12 points in the first stanza. Geneva settled for a 36-29 lead at the half. “We executed our offense very well in the first half but it was our defensive effort that I was most proud of today,” said head coach Jeff Santarsiero. That defensive effort forced 17 W & J turnovers that led to 22 points in the game.
W & J slowly made its way back into the game finally tied the score at 50 apiece at the 11:35 mark of the second half. The Presidents led the game 54-52 with 9:28 left to play but Geneva would not be denied. The Golden Tornadoes posted a 7-0 run capped by a Lambros Svingos lay-up that swayed the momentum into Geneva’s direction. “I was very happy with our effort all day,” said Santarsiero. “Especially when we got down in the second half our guys really responded and we got great leadership from our seniors.”
David Phillips led all scorers with 24 points including a 9-10 effort from the foul line. Five of those foul shots came in the final two minutes. Drew Santarsiero knocked down eight straight foul shots in the final moments to help seal the victory. Matt Lorello was a perfect 9-9 from the field and dropped in 19 points to help Geneva’s winning cause. “It was a solid team effort,” said Santarsiero. “We got contributions from a lot of guys and now I may actually get a decent night sleep.”
Geneva will look to build on its momentum as its takes to the road for three straight conference games. The Golden Tornadoes will be in New Wilmington on Wednesday night to play rival Westminster College.
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).