WHAT IT MEANS: It means the Liberty are as erratic as the team is capable, and resilient too. New York erased a 15-point deficient, holding the Sun to just seven points in the fourth quarter before eventually overpowering Connecticut in overtime. They now sit 1 1/2 games outside of second place in the East.
It also means the Liberty showed they are one of the best defensive teams in the WNBA when they want to be. Tina Charles was unstoppable no matter who guarded her. She controlled the paint from every angle, scoring 29 points with 14 rebounds. But the Liberty held the league’s best center to 4 points and 2 boards in the fourth quarter and overtime.
STAR OF THE GAME: Cappie Pondexter did not have her best stuff Thursday night but she carried the team in key moments. She sunk the running 3-point shot with 50.2 left to tie the score at 74 and force overtime.
“That was the toughest shot ever,” Pondexter said.
Then Pondexter scored six points in the extra stanza, including a deep jumper to put New York ahead by one with 24.3 remaining. She turned in one of her best scoring games, finishing with 27 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
POST HELP: Kia Vaughn started out matching Charles point-for-point in the first quarter. She had 9 points and 6 rebounds after the first period but disappeared for a long stretch afterward, going scoreless in the second and picking up four personal fouls in the third. But Vaughn made a difference in the paint in the fourth and overtime, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds, her first double-digit scoring effort in six games.
The Liberty also saw some encouraging flashes from newly acquired Kara Braxton, who finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds. New York needed the help down low since Nicole Powell sat out with a contusion in her right knee that coach John Whisenant said had been bothering her for three games.
THE ROAD AHEAD: New York earned some much-needed momentum heading into a rough road stretch starting Saturday in Seattle before heading to Phoenix and then Chicago.