CALDWELL, NJ—The Livingston Lancers have certainly had their share of ups and downs this season. On Friday night, February 12th, the Lancers played fundamental team basketball and defeated the West Essex Knights 57-45. With this win, Livingston captured their second victory against West Essex during the 2009-2010 season.
"I am glad that we are at the .500 mark again," Livingston head coach Dave Cohen said. "They played us tough at our place and I am content that we can come in here and get a road victory."
During the first meeting between the two Super Essex Conference-Colonial Division teams, Livingston carried a lead into halftime but West Essex made a second half comeback and Livingston had to hit clutch free throws to win 49-47 on January 14.
"They played us real tough at our place last month," junior captain Matt Fung said. "We knew it would be a real challenge tonight but we stuck to the game plan and came out on top."
Fung and the rest of the Lancers stuck to the fundamentals of the game and simply dribbled and drove to the basket. If the Knight defenders left a lane open, the Lancers would take it to the basket and finish. But if the Knight defenders helped, then Livingston would dish the ball.
Livingston carried a seven-point lead into halftime, 28-21. Livingston's second half goal was to keep attacking but pick up the defensive intensity, and the Lancers did just that.
The Lancers caused 12 second-half turnovers and once again their defense led to their offense. Matt Fung finished with 13 points, 11 coming in the second-half. Livingston's sophomore center Alex Kalmus finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
"Coach preached defense during halftime and that was our mindset when we came out of the locker room," Kalmus said. "We have been a strong defensive team all year and tonight was a prime explain of that."
Livingston is now 9-9 on the season and they have three games remaining. They play Saturday February 13 at home against a talented Morristown team. Then they take on the Essex County Tournament defending champions, University, on Tuesday February 16 in Newark. Finally, they conclude their season with the Bearcats of Barringer on Thursday February 18 at home.