Leichliter leads Tornadoes to victory over W&J Presidents

The Geneva men’s basketball team took the court by storm Wednesday night in a dominant 71-41 victory over the Washington & Jefferson Presidents, forcing a blowout in a bottom of the barrel PAC match-up.

“This [was] our best performance to date,” said head basketball coach Jeff Santarsiero.

Despite Geneva and W&J occupying ninth and tenth place, respectively, in the conference standings, neither side has quit on the year. W&J came into Wednesday’s game after their first win of the season Saturday against Chatham, but Geneva responded with their best effort of the year after an issued challenge by the Presidents’ head coach.

Geneva had both sides of the ball locked down for the majority of the game. Starting forward Chris Dean picked off two passes early that facilitated the GTs’ fast break game and helped to get sophomore Jimmy Leichliter going.

Leichliter contributed nine buckets in the first half on his way to a career high 30 points. The guard-forward was a scorching 8-13 from behind the arc.

“[I’m] very excited. Last year I had seven [3-pointers] and this year I have eight,” said Leichliter. “It just felt good tonight.”

Leichliter’s efficient 10-16 shooting line is a welcome change from his current shooting slump. He  is shooting a meager 26.5 percent from downtown this year, a far cry from his 42 percent mark in his freshman year.

Contrasting Leichliter’s performance, PAC leading scorer Chaese Vaudrin netted only 1-8 attempts from the field in his first action coming off an injury. Despite not being able to find his shot, Vaudrin held up under a full workload of thirty minutes.

Freshman David Oliver, coming off the bench as the team’s sixth man, collected eight points and five rebounds.

Geneva’s entire roster checked into the game, with sixteen different players tapping the scorer’s table.

Santarsiero said, “We had a good game and everybody contributed.”

The Tornadoes’ record currently sits at 3-17, though all three victories have come against fellow PAC programs. They travel to Grove City College Saturday in another inter-conference bout against the Wolverines.

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