Livingston Uses Strong Defense to Stun University, 44–41
Friday, January 11, 2013 • 12:16am
LIVINGSTON, NJ – Senior leadership has been a key component in Livingston’s season thus far. Resiliency, courage, and reliability are three words that one could use to describe this Lancer squad.
Only six of Livingston’s 13 players are seniors and they were the key ingredient in Thursday night’s win, 44-41, over the sixth-ranked University Phoenix.
“It is a big win for us as we move forward,” Livingston head coach Dave Cohen said. “Everyone contributed tonight and it was a full team effort for 32 minutes.”
Robby Lefkowitz paced Livingston with 15 points on the evening and also added three assists. Fellow senior Alex Haberman finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
“We knew we had to come out and play with energy and focus,” Haberman said. “Our defense has kept us in all of our games and will all year because wins come on the defensive side of the ball.”
Two hard-working seniors had their moment to shine Thursday night. Livingston forward Joey Fischer scored six points in the first period against University’s extended 2-3 zone. Senior guard Justin Tepper hit a clutch 3-pointer to give Livingston a 12-4 lead after a period of play.
University did make a stand in the second quarter as they outscored Livingston 11-9, fueled by Joseph Kelly, who finished with 12 points. Livingston trailed 15-13 with 3:30 left but the Lancers’ closed out the second quarter with an 8-0 run and was ahead 21-15 at half.
“A lead at half is huge, especially at home,” Haberman said. “We had to sure up a few things schematically and we knew we would be right there in the end.”
Livingston tightened up their matchup 2-3 zone in the third quarter and held the Phoenix to nine points. Livingston was moving the ball quickly and knocking down open jumpers, making University come out of their zone.
University did make a fourth quarter comeback with Timothy Coleman and Morgan Dixon. The two led the Phoenix on a 15-9 run, but it was too little too late.
Coleman finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Dixon scored ten points and grabbed nine boards.
“Down the stretch, we made all the right plays and showed a lot of heart. I am extremely proud of the guys but now our focus switches to Montclair,” Cohen said.