RAHWAY, NJ - The Gov. Livingston girls' basketball team outscored the home team Rahway Lady Indians 7-2 in a four minute overtime period to come away with a dramatic comeback 50-45 victory yesterday afternoon in Rahway.
The Lady Highlanders got a career high 16 points from sophomore Paige Phillips and a double- double from Fiona Kerr who registered 14 points and 10 rebounds to earn their fourth win of the season. Gov. Livingston (4-4) got back on track with their first Mountain conference win of the season after they dropped a disappointing 34-30 loss to a depleted Johnson team the day before. The Lady Highlanders leading scorer Skylar Dowling chipped in 10 points, including four in OT marking the first time this season that the team had three players score in double figures. Taylor Williams scored a game high 25 points for Rahway (0-7) who is still looking for their first victory of the season.
For the second game in a row the Lady Highlanders had a difficult time scoring in the first half of play. With opposing defenses now keying on and doubling Dowling (15 ppg.), who is the teams primary scoring option and offensive facilitator, the Lady Highlanders managed to score only 14 first half points. Senior forward Allie McGlynn and Phillips both scored four first half points but the disrupted offense was desperately trying to find a rhythm. Gov. Livingston coach Chris Eckert who made some offensive adjustments after his team scored only 8 first half points in Wednesday's loss to Johnson finally got the results he was looking for in the second half of yesterday's win.
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A combination of increased defensive pressure and a big quarter from Kerr got the Lady Highlanders back in the contest as they posted 17 third quarter points. Eckert challenged his team for the second consecutive game at the half and his adjustments yielded production not only from Kerr but from Phillips and Dowling as well. With Kerr attacking the basket and Dowling and Phillips freeing up for jumpers due to better ball movement, the Lady Highlanders had worked their way back into the game after three quarters of play.
Gov. Livingston was able to put up 12 fourth quarter points and managed to catch Rahway and push the game into OT. Kerr, who recorded her second double-double of the season, found her way to the free throw line and converted 8 clutch times in the second half. McGlynn who scored a season high 8 points also was a big part of the defensive turnaround that sparked the team. Eckert also got quality minutes out of senior Stacey Berliner and sophomore Shannon Polimeni off the bench during the comeback.
In the overtime, Dowling with four points and Phillips with three secured the win for Gov. Livingston as Rahway scored only two points in the extra frame. Dowling's 10 points marked the 8th consecutive game that she reached double figures.
The Lady Highlanders will return to play on Saturday for a difficult matchup with a physical Cranford team. Cranford comes into the contest with a 4-4 record but has played a much more challenging schedule than Gov. Livingston. Dowling and company can expect to face a very aggressive defense and it will be interesting to see if Eckert's team carries over the offensive momentum they gained from the second half of Thursday's win. Tipoff is set for 12:30 in Gov. Livingstons Red gym.