Behind a career-high 41 points by junior forward Nate Navigato, Geneva (6-1) made up a 13-point third-quarter deficit to beat Bloomington 65-61 at the Champaign Centennial Shootout held at the University of Illinois' State Farm Center, formerly Assembly Hall.
"It might be one the best comebacks I've seen from a Geneva team since I've been here," said Vikings coach Phil Ralston after the nonconference win brought his career record up to 202 victories.
Geneva led 16-7 in the first quarter, but led Bloomington (3-3) posted a 13-point lead with less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter. After a Ralston timeout, the coach said Navigato hit a 3 and the comeback was on. The 6-foot-7 swingman scored 33 of his 41 points in the second half.
"It was one of the best performances I've ever seen," Ralston said.
The coach also mentioned the defense played by Chris Parrilli, Justin Durante and, down the stretch, Pace Temple on Bloomington guard Brady Rose. The guard entered the game averaging nearly 20 points, Ralston said, but the 6-foot-2 Temple helped contain him to single digits.
"For us to play such a great game on that floor was one of the best coaching experiences I've ever had," Ralston said.