Beaver Falls, PA – The Men’s Basketball team played host to non-conference foe LaRoche College on Saturday afternoon. After a tremendous victory at Allegheny College on Wednesday night, the Golden Tornadoes hoped to get above .500 for the second time in the young season. In a game of lead changes and mini-runs, the Red Hawks defeated the Golden Tornadoes in the final moments of the game to the tune of 73-72 at Metheny Fieldhouse.
Missing Trevor York due to an injury, Geneva began the game with a unique lineup that saw Jacob Jaros and Chaese Vaudrin in the starting lineups for the first time this season. The first half provided a myriad of lead changes but Geneva was the first to put together a run when they pushed their lead to seven with just over three minutes left in the opening frame. However, an 8-0 LaRoche run to finish the half gave the Redhawks a 36-35 halftime lead.
The Golden Tornadoes’ strangling half-court defense forced 16 LaRoche turnovers in the game that they were able to convert into 25 points. However, the biggest story of the game was the second half dominance of LaRoche’s Andre Flanigan and David Jackson. Flanigan and Jackson scored 19 and 20 respectively in the game and reeked havoc in the paint against Geneva. Trevor York’s defensive prowess was sorely missed as the Redhawks scored 50 points in the paint on the afternoon.
However, despite their front-court struggles, Geneva still battled LaRoche tooth and nail as the game progressed. Both teams combined for nine lead changes and eight ties as neither team could gain the upper hand throughout the second half. With 21 seconds to go in the game, LaRoche regained possession after a Geneva miss and scored a contested layup with only three ticks left on the clock. Geneva’s Jacob Grim attempted to break loose in the waning moments but a collision caused the ball to bounce off of Grim and out of bounds as time expired and the Golden Tornadoes fell 73-72 in a heartbreaker.
Grim paced the Tornadoes with 17 points on 5-10 shooting including 6-7 from the stripe. Jordan Harbison and Chaese Vaudrin also cracked double figures with 12 and 10 respectively. Tyler Damazo added seven points and nine boards on the night. Geneva shot an impressive 48 percent from the field but that stat paled in comparison to the astounding 61.5 percent that LaRoche shot from the field in the game. LaRoche’s David Jackson added 8 rebounds to his dominant 20 point performance.
The tough loss brings Geneva’s record to 2-3 on the season. The win pushes LaRoche to 2-2. The Golden Tornadoes have the holiday week off before traveling to Hiram College next Saturday for a 3 p.m. tip.
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