Cappie, Liberty run afoul of Atlanta
GalleriesAtlanta 74, Liberty 64
NEWARK -- Inconsistent defensive play, turnovers and an unusually poor performance from their star player all but assured a loss for the Liberty Sunday.
Pondexter scored 30 points in Thursday's loss to Minnesota and came in averaging 19.3 points and 42.3 percent shooting from the field but shot just 4-for-17 (23.5 percent) and added four free throws.
"Cappie is our leader, our offensive leader and with her having an off night we have a tough time scoring," Liberty coach John Whisenant said. "That's just a fact. We don't have a lot of offensive options on our team. If she struggles we struggle a little bit. You can't expect her to knock all her shots down every game. We got to get some other people scoring and we didn't do that tonight."
Pondexter also committed seven of the Liberty's 26 turnovers which led to 31 points for Atlanta (5-7).
"I don't know when the last time I had that many turnovers," Pondexter said. "I need to see people quicker I think or make my moves quicker."
Pondexter said she was unaware she was in foul trouble when she fouled out for the first time this season with the Liberty on an 8-0 run but trailing 70-60 with 2:52 to go.
"I'm surprised. I didn't know I had five fouls, I thought the last charge gave me four," Pondexter said. "Obviously I would've been more smart about fouling Angel [McCoughtry]. That possession we were actually on a run, we had the momentum kind of on our side and that foul kind of changed things and it [stinks] on my part."
Leilani Mitchell scored all of her 16 points in the first half thanks to 5-for-5 shooting from three-point range and gave the Liberty a 40-38 lead at halftime on a three-pointer with 9.7 to go in the second quarter.
"Just teammates finding me open," Mitchell said. "I think we were attacking and the defense was collapsing and left me open on the backside a lot."
Kara Braxton came off the bench to get 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Liberty (4-9), which is without Plenette Pierson (calf) for another 4-6 weeks.