LIVINGSTON, NJ - Even though it was a turnover-prone contest between the Livingston Lancers and the West Essex Knights Thursday night in Livingston, the Lancers were able to overcome adversity and defeat West Essex 46-39, earning their seventh victory of the season.
"By no means, did we play our best game tonight. But the guys kept fighting and came out with a win," said Livingston head coach Dave Cohen. "It feels good to earn number seven today.”
Livingston won a back-and-forth contest Tuesday night against East Orange. The Lancers knew they had a great opportunity to earn a victory today as West Essex came in off a four-game losing streak.
"We played a gritty one against East Orange on Tuesday and we knew we had to get this one today on our home," senior guard Doug Bresnick said.
After defense was the theme of the first half, Livingston took a 15-14 lead into halftime. The Lancers forced eight turnovers in the first half, but could not convert with transition baskets.
That quickly changed in the third quarter as Livingston got out to an 8-0 run, led by Alex Haberman who had six in the quarter. The Lancers forced the Knights into two turnovers on their first two possessions of the second half. Livingston gained some confidence and ended the court on a 16-8 run now leading 31-22.
"At halftime, we felt real good about where we stood,” Haberman said. “We led by one and missed some opportunities so if we cleaned that up we knew we could gradually increase our lead.”
Livingston forced 13 turnovers in the second half and a total of 21 for the entire contest. West Essex had trouble finding open shots in Livingston’s 2-3 matchup zone.
Livingston built a seven point forth quarter lead with four minutes to go. However, the Knights continued to fight and Matt Thies hit a three-pointer with 2:27 left to cut Livingston’s lead to three.
Livingston’s senior point guard, Robby Lefkowitz, remained composed and patient working for a good shot. Lefkowitz found Joey Fischer cutting to the basket to increase Livingston’s lead to five and the Lancers never looked back.
Lefkowitz finished with ten points and six assists while Haberman and Fischer each had eight apiece.
For West Essex, Matt Thies had 14 points and Patrick Dyer scored 13 points.
"Everyone played hard tonight and it was good to come out with a win. I like where we stand right now," Cohen said.