Pondexter is the Difference as Liberty Dominate: Recap 6/8

By / June 9, 2014 / article, game recap
Desperate for a win, the New York Liberty cruised to victory with a dominating 81-64 performance against the Washington Mystics on Sunday. The Liberty’s win, an important game for the team after three straight losses, improved their overall record to 3-5.

Alex Morgan speaks with members of the media following the Liberty win. (@nyliberty on Twitter)“The energy level was phenomenal in the first half and that’s what carried us,” head coach Bill Laimbeer said after the game. “When you’re that locked in, good things will happen.”The Liberty played well from the opening tip. Strong play from guard Cappie Pondexter helped the team jump out to a quick 10-0 lead. “[She] was hot,” forward Delisha Milton-Jones said after the game. “She was just doing what she’s known to do all her career – she knocks down big shots.”

Pondexter’s blistering offensive pace continued for the entirety of the game, and the eight-year veteran poured in 21 points on a remarkable 10-11 shooting. The outburst surpassed her previous season high by a point. “She’s a scorer,” Milton-Jones said after the game with a laugh. Pondexter leads the team with over 14 points per game.

The Liberty took control of the game, suffocating the Mystics early. At one point, Washington trailed by 28 points. Center Tina Charles said the Liberty’s mindset was a big reason for the efficient start. “Just going out, competing, playing hard every possession is what helped us win this game.”

Charles finished with 14 points, guard Alex Montgomery finished with 13, and point guard Anna Cruz joined the onslaught with 10. There were plenty of cheers from the 8,747 in Madison Square Garden, and the team is now 2-2 at home. Kara Lawson made four three-pointers to lead the Mystics, although three of her buckets came in the first quarter.

The victory could not have come at a better time for the Liberty. After a tough 87-75 loss against San Antonio on Thursday, Laimbeer told his team the team needed to improve intangibly. “After last game, we realized the energy level – for forty minutes – has to be better.”

The Liberty players and staff still remain upbeat despite their slow start to the season. Milton-Jones asserts that their performance could result in more than just a win. “This game could be huge for us,” she said. “It’s a huge morale-lifter … and I’m hoping it can become contagious for us – the taste of victory.”

The Liberty will try to build off of their victory when the team travels to Oklahoma to take on the 1-5 Tulsa Shock. Tip-off is slated for 11:30 am Eastern Standard Time.

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Amiri Tulloch

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