June 9, 2013 – Newark, NJ – The NY Liberty defeated the Atlanta Dream 76-67 and improved to perfect 3-0 at Prudential Center. For Atlanta it was their first loss of the season. Cappie Pondexter again provided the late hoem-game heroics scoring 10 of her 17 points on 4-for-6 shoting in the fourth a the Liberty avenged a beating by the Dream on Friday night, the front end of a home and home.
Plenette Pierson also had a solid game, scoring a season high 17 points, her first double-digit scoring game of the year. And Leilani Mitchell provided a huge spark off the bench with solid defense and scrappy play. Mitchell, the smallest player on the court grabbed a season-high seven rebounds to lead the Liberty.
Her play did not go unnoticed by her head coach. “(Leilani) Mitchell came in and gave a defensive spark.” Head coach Laimbeer commented when asked about her play. “She dug all the loose balls out, she got her hands on everything. Deflections, digging out loose balls, she had seven rebounds. For the smallest player on the floor, that’s pretty impressive.”
For the Dream, Sancho Lyttle led the way with a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds. And Angel McCoughtry was held to just 15-points after facing some suffocating Liberty defense. “The stretch in the third quarter is when they took over the game.” McCoughtry said after the game. “We couldn’t recover.”
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The Liberty were playing their first game without all-star forward Essence Carson, who was averaging a team-high 17.7 points through the first three games this season. Carson suffered a torn left ACL during the second quarter of the Liberty’s game at Atlanta on Friday night.
Without Carson, Liberty coach Laimbeer inserted veteran Katie Smith into the starting lineup and it was Smith’s defense on McCoughtry which kept the Dream’s leading scorer in check most of the game.