BRONX, NY - One cannot blame Erika Livermore for enthusiastically exclaiming, "It felt great to be out there."
Livermore and her Farleigh-Dickinson teammates just finished a 73-54 victory over Manhattan at Draddy Gymnasium. Livermore hadn't played competitively in over a year. An ACL injury suffered in Fall 2013 kept her out of action all last season. Livermore spent a good part of the Summer conditioning and working to get the knee back in shape.
Returning to action was great; getting a nice road win was the icing on the cake.
"At first there was apprehension," she admitted. "There was concern over my lateral movement. The workouts in the Summer went very well. I had no trouble with any movement in a lateral direction. My confidence got better as I worked with my teammates.'
Livermore showed no ill effect and was very active inside. The 6-2 junior center, one of the Northeast Conference's best players before her injury, proved ready to resume her place among NEC elite. As FDU struggled against the Manhattan zone, she stayed active inside and almost single handedly kept the Lady Knights in the contest. FDU trailed 27-24 at the half with Livermore contributing 16 points, 10 rebounds.
The second half saw FDU receive contributions from other players. Going man to man and closing out on perimeter shooters were other contributing factors. Livermore, ever unselfish and supportive, couldn't have been more thrilled with fellow Lady Knights Valerie Oyakhilome (14 points including four threes) and Brianna Thomas (14 points) stepping u and making the victory possible.
"It was great having her (Livermore) back," FDU coach Pete Cinella exclaimed. "She is a Player of the year candidate in our conference and we needed her points the first half. Beside scoring Erika is such a good interior defender and not a good but great rebounder."
On this evening FDU enjoyed a satisfying out of conference road, avenging a season opening loss to Manhattan last season. For Erika Livermore, that and simply getting back and running the floor made it a special evening.