Livingston Falls Below .500 in Overtime Loss to Barringer, 66-56

Livingston's head coach Dave Cohen (left) looks on with assistants Pete Gelman (center) and Jeff McMurry (right).

LIVINGSTON, NJ—The Barringer Blue Bears traveled to Livingston Thursday night, February 18, looking to clinch third place in the Super Essex Conference-Colonial Division.  Like the Blue Bears, Livingston was also trying to clinch third place in the Super Essex Conference-Colonial Division. But more was at stake for the Lancers than just third place. Livingston was looking to solidify its season and be guaranteed of finishing at least at .500.  However, Livingston fell to Barringer 66-56, bringing the team's record to 10-11.

"I don't think we were focused for the whole 32 minutes," Livingston's head coach Dave Cohen said. "This is not the result we wanted for our last home game of the season."

Throughout Thursday night's contest, Livingston was inconsistent with executing on the offensive side of the ball.

Barringer played its 1-3-1 high-pressure zone defense and forced numerous turnovers.

Livingston trailed 25-24 at half and the one point deficit was credited to Livingston's second quarter run, as the team was able to beat Barringer's initial trap and attack the Blue Bear 1-3-1 defense.

"We played a poor first half of basketball and we were lucky to only be down by one," Livingston junior captain Matt Fung said.

The Lancers came out energized in the third quarter and had a three-point lead midway through the third period. But Barringer turned up the defensive intensity and forced more Livingston turnovers, which led to the Blue Bears' transition offense.

In the fourth quarter, Barringer seemed that they were going to run away with the game but Livingston coach Dave Cohen implemented a 2-1-2 half-court trap and both Sam Abam and Matt Fung brought Livingston back into the game. Fung hit two clutch 3-pointers and throughout the game, Abam did a phenomenal job penetrating and finishing at the basket.

After four quarters, the game was tied 51-51.

Overtime belonged to Barringer as the team dominated Livingston in every aspect.

The Blue Bears went on a 15-5 run and junior forward Jaquan Jenkins scored all eight of his points in the final period.

Jenkins and his two teammates, Terrance Moore and Joseph Nickerson, gave Livingston's defense issues throughout the night.

Moore led Barringer with 13 points and Nickerson finished with 12 points.

Matt Fung was five-for-twelve from 3-point range and finished with a game high of 10 points. Sophomore guard Sam Abam scored 14 points and had six rebounds.

"We have one final game on Tuesday against Morris Hills and that is a must win," Abam said. "We want to reach the .500 mark and want to go into the state tournament coming off a win."

With this loss, Livingston falls to 10-11 on the year. They have one regular season game left, which is their last chance to get to the .500 mark. The last time a Livingston Lancer team was at or above the .500 mark was in 1995 when the Lancers were 13-10.

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