Liberty falls to San Antonio in overtime, 78-77
NEWARK - Through much of this season, the modus operandi of the Liberty has been rallying to win tight games after slow and sloppy starts.
But there would be no comeback yesterday. San Antonio guard Shenise Johnson hit a jumper with 36 seconds left in overtime to lift the Silver Stars to a 78-77 win over the Liberty at Prudential Center.
The Liberty had a chance for the win, but Katie Smith's jumper with 1.9 seconds left was blocked. It was the third overtime game of the season for the Liberty, which dropped to 2-1 in extra-session contests.
"Some of the things we've struggled with in wins, we struggled with in losses," Smith said. "It definitely caught up with us. But we had our chances."
Trailing 70-68 with 4:15 left in overtime, the Liberty went on a 9-4 run and took a 77-74 lead at the 2:05 mark on a three-pointer by Smith. On San Antonio's ensuing possession, Danielle Robinson hit a driving layup to cut the Silver Stars' deficit to 77-76.
The Liberty had several chances after that to win or force a second overtime but committed two turnovers in its final three possessions. The Liberty committed 23 turnovers and leads the WNBA in that category.
"[The turnovers] are something we can't shake right now, unfortunately," Cappie Pondexter said. "We just have to keep getting better."
Pondexter had 19 points, 11 rebounds and six assists but committed seven turnovers. Plenette Pierson added 18 points for the Liberty.
San Antonio, which halted a four-game skid, got 16 points and 11 rebounds from Danielle Adams and 15 points from DeLisha Milton-Jones.
The Silver Stars (3-5) scored 16 first-half points off 12 turnovers. But the Liberty (4-3) hung around despite the numerous miscues and trailed 34-32 at the break.
"I take all the responsibility," Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer said. "I haven't been able to instill in them about taking care of the basketball. We just start throwing the ball all over the gym. Some of the passes, we were just flinging it to get rid of it."
Notes & quotes: Former Liberty forward and Center Moriches product Sue Wicks was honored by the team during a halftime ceremony at center court.