NEWARK -- The playoff push for the Liberty continues, with a little boost from the TV monitors.
The Liberty defeated Washington, 75-62, Wednesday night at Prudential Center to regain a half-game lead over Chicago for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Chicago (12-17) had beaten Minnesota, owner of the best record in the WNBA, Tuesday night to briefly even things.
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But the Liberty (13-17) was in jeopardy of falling a half-game back when the officials went to the monitors to review a three-pointer by Washington's Shannon Bobbitt between the third and fourth quarters.
The basket, which went in off glass as the shot clock expired, would have given the Mystics their largest lead of the game at 56-49 with 2:08 left in the third quarter. But it was ruled the ball was still in Bobbitt's hands after the shot clock expired, and thus a violation.
"I told [the official] at the time, 'Review it, Review it,' and he said they would," said Liberty coach John Whisenant, adding that his players didn't know the basket had been waved off until after they broke their pre-fourth-quarter huddle. "But I'm not exactly impartial. It was nice to not have those three points go against us, but we still had 10 minutes to play."
Instead of Cappie Pondexter's three-pointer with 28 seconds left in the third pulling the Liberty to within two heading into the fourth, it actually put her team up by one, 56-55. And the Liberty never again trailed, as it started the fourth on an 8-2 run, including four points from both Kia Vaughn (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Plenette Pierson (nine points, eight rebounds).
"I actually forgot about it," Pondexter said about the review. "It was like five plays away from us building our momentum. We had already started rolling."
Pondexter finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Nicole Powell added 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting.
The Liberty, winner of four of its last five, will play three of its remaining four games on the road, including another date with the Mystics (5-25) Sunday afternoon in Washington, and two against Tulsa, the last-place team in the West.
Washington has lost nine in a row and has the league's worst record.