Liberty needs OT to get first win of season

Liberty's Cappie Pondexter celebrates with teammates Plenette Pierson,

Liberty's Cappie Pondexter celebrates with teammates Plenette Pierson, left, and Essence Carson, right, after hitting the go-ahead basket in overtime agains the Tulsa Shock during a WNBA basketball game at Prudential Center. (May 31, 2013) (Credit: Jason DeCrow)

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NEWARK -- In the hours before Friday night's game between the Liberty and the Tulsa Shock, Bill Laimbeer said he wasn't quite sure what his team is.

Then the Liberty showed its coach it is part grit. Cappie Pondexter hit a short jumper with half a second left in overtime to give the Liberty a 78-76 win in front of 7,532 at the Prudential Center.

The game nearly went to double overtime as Tulsa's Glory Johnson got free for a layup off an inbounds pass from the side. But the shot came just after the buzzer.

"I thought it was good. I was getting ready for double overtime," Pondexter said. "I was ticked because it was so easy. We have to be a little smarter in those situations."

It was a tough win for the Liberty, which blew a 15-point lead and overcame 24 turnovers and a four-point deficit late in the fourth quarter.

"They've been on the road for three games and I'm sure in their minds they were thinking if they could steal one, our game would be it," Pondexter said.

Laimbeer said he will take any win.

"All that matters is the win," Laimbeer said. "No matter what happens in the game, our motto is just to win the game. That's what we're out here for."

Essence Carson had 18 points, including 11 in the second half and overtime for the Liberty (1-1). Her jumper with 37 seconds left tied the score at 69 and forced overtime. Pondexter had 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Kara Braxton contributed 12 points and eight rebounds.

Said Pondexter, "It's just a matter of us learning each other, slowing down and reading things a little better."

Liz Cambage scored 22 points and Johnson had 17 for Tulsa (0-3). Rookie guard Skylar Diggins had seven points and shot 2-for-11.

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