GREENVILLE, Pa. — It was the same old story for the Thiel College men’s basketball team Saturday against Geneva.
Inconsistency on offense, coupled with the inability to protect the basketball which led to turnovers and many times points for the opponent, once again hurt the Tomcats in an 88-71 loss.
The Golden Tornadoes never trailed as they steadily built up a lead throughout the first half. Geneva went on a 10-2 run to take a 39-23 lead with four minutes remaining in the half and led 53-31 at the intermission.
“We are making far too many unforced errors to win games,” said Thiel coach Tim Loomis. “We played hard for a stretch, but then we would turn the ball over and as a result, we wouldn’t score for minutes at a time. That is what allowed them to gradually build their lead.”
Two of the biggest thorns for the Tomcats were the long-range shooting by Geneva’s Nardi brothers, Emilio and Justin.
Emilio made his first five attempts from behind the arc and finished with 17 points, while Justin came on strong down the stretch to finish with a 5-for-8 effort from the field to go along with a near-perfect 9-of-10 at the free throw line for his game-high 19 points.
“I just told Justin in the locker room that although his leadership as a senior has struggled a little bit, I was real happy with the way he stepped up to the plate today,” said Geneva coach Jeff Santarsiero. “He has to be our floor leader because everybody else feeds off what he is doing and Emilio is capable of what he did today more often. He just needs to be confident that he can make those shots.”
During the first half, the Tornadoes shot 67 percent from the field.
“I am not used to this,” said Santarsiero about his team’s shooting. “When we are shooting the ball well, it feeds off everything else.
“But the think I was most proud of in this win is that our bench stepped up in the first half which hasn’t happened in a while and with the exception of a two-minute stretch, our defensive effort from the tip was something it hasn’t been all year. Hopefully it will show the kids that if we play like that, we can win a lot more games than we will lose.”
Tomcats opened the second half with a 12-3 run led by 10 points from Keebo Dowe, but again the Golden Tornadoes had an answer as they built their advantage back to better than 20 points.
Dowe finished with 14 points, six rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal.
Sean Devinney had 18 points for the Tomcats, while Cory Chaffee added 16 and Brandon Mirizio (Kennedy Catholic) had 12.
Richard Colick (Mohawk) had 14 points for Geneva.